Perfect Partners

I have been a bit under the weather with a pesky little malady called writer’s block. So I haven’t blogged and I’ve only added about 2,000 words to the WIP since my last posting. I confess, to you, and to you only, that I have not been at my perky best as of late. My sad apathy and feelings of redundancy were very helpful when writing the parts where our main character also feels these things. Oh how the words dripped off of my fingertips then, my dear. I literally could not hold myself back. But I faltered when attempting to write a fun little shopping scene. What has vivacious, devil-may-care revelry have to do with me? This is where having a writing partner is invaluable.

If I were writing on my own, I would have quit already. Yes, that is the pathetically low level of my committment and determination. Alone, I would have given in to my little depression. I may have even rolled around and wallowed in it. I may do this anyway, but I plan to keep writing even if I do. I will keep writing even though I know that this manuscript’s inglorious end will probably be at the bottom of a slush pile. I will most likely never be a well-dressed guest, gaily discussing my latest bestseller with Regis and Kelly. But I will see it through, and that is because of the other Lisa.

The very most important component the other Lisa provides is plentiful helpings of guilt. While I stumbled and stuttered, she wrote almost three times as much. Not a word of reproach left her lips. It didn’t need to; my blue-collar work ethic kicked in immediately. I was not holding up my end! I was a bad person and a terrible friend! What if she finished the book without me and she got to go on television to discuss her bestseller with a carefully gauged combination of insouciance and humility? Okay, so that last veered into paranoia. Whatever. It got me working.Lisa2a1

Sometimes our minds work in a scarily similar fashion. One afternoon, as I struggled with my attempt to put the cute into consumerism, I realized I needed more dialogue in the section I had just finished. Literally one minute after I had this thought, the phone rang. It was the other Lisa. No surprise there as we call each other all the time. But her first words were, “I don’t know why, but I just wrote a little dialogue for you to slip into the shopping scene.”

As helpful as that moment of eerie serendipity was, we are not always two great minds with but one thought. Often I will get the WIP back and then realize the other Lisa has gone in a totally new direction with some idea. These fresh starts almost aways spur a blast of new creativity in me. We push, we argue, we manage to pull the best out of each other.  We’re partners. Thanks, Lisa. And save some room on Oprah’s couch for me.

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