Coauthoring vs. Solo Writing: Zara Hoffman

This is the last post on this topic. Thank you for stopping by, Zara Hoffman!

So you’ve decided to write a novel. That’s great! Congratulations on committing yourself to a wonderful adventure. The question is for most writers is what do you want to write? Fiction or nonfiction? If fiction, what genre, etc. But some authors think bigger picture first: Do you want to go it alone or do you team up with a co-author?

I’m done both. And while you shouldn’t take my opinion as law, but keep these considerations in mind while making about your decision.

PROS of SOLO-writing
• It’s on your own timeline and you don’t need to coordinate with anyone else during the writing stage
• You control all the content, no need to get approval of a co-author
• You make all executive decisions about editing, design, etc. (unless you go the traditional publishing route)

CONS of SOLO-writing
• Everything is on you. You need to come up with all the content. Write it all, edit it all; you do it all. *You need a good plan to stay organized and have great drive to accomplish everything*
• You need to be confident in your own opinions. You don’t have someone else to bounce ideas off of (you may have CPs, but it’s still not the same as a co-author who’s just as invested in the project as you are)
• It can get lonely (but there are alternatives like writing groups such as Go Teen Writers and Teens Can Write, Too!)

PROS of CO-writing
• You share the workload
• You split costs (or should, make sure that’s part of your agreement before you start)
• You have a companion during the long and arduous (but still amazingly fun) writing and publishing process.

CONS of CO-writing
• You need to compromise a lot on of executive decisions
• Scheduling time can be very difficult
• There is the danger of one person doing more of the work (to avoid this make a thorough plan of who does what and stick to it)

My opinion: I personally like solo-writing more. Partially because I like getting stuff done as efficiently and quickly as possible and my co-author has a very different schedule from me which makes writing together almost impossible. I like the streamlined solo-writing process. Obviously, shouldering all the costs is not ideal, but for total control, for some (like me) it may be worth it.

That’s not to say I’m against it. I think the biggest mistake I made in my co-authoring venture was not creating a solid (or any) agreement with my partner. We just went in on the basis of a mutual interest in our project. And I’ve run into all of the cons of co-authoring and have yet to experience the pros, but that’s just my experience. Learn from my mistakes and maybe you’ll get a different result.

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