I love cowriting.
That's doing cow rituals. Like performing dark magic with cow fur and milk, casting spells on cows to endow them with the ability to drive cars and dance the tango, that kind of thing.
Unrelatedly, since I'm talking about hobbies, another thing I like a lot is co-writing. Here's a picture of my pal Jennifer Flath and me writing. I'm the old guy with the hat. Even though Jennifer lives on the West Coast and I'm in the Midwest, and even though I'm busy with parenting stuff and she's busy hawking fabric softener, we have already managed to write two books together!
Yes, co-writing is one of my favorite things to do. Working on a creative project with a person who is one the same wavelength as you humor- and creativity-wise is crazy good times, let me tell you. It all started for me with some pretty stellar fanfiction that my little sister and I used to write about Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. It was amazing stuff if I do say so myself. We got to out Snape as the vampire he obviously is, let Gandalf and Galadriel have that affair they so clearly have been carrying on behind Celeborn's back for centuries, and have Boromir not die but instead run off to a hippie commune to recuperate and become a pacifist. Very fulfilling.
And then! I met writer folks on the internet! The internet, as I'm sure you know, is a magical place where you can often find like-minded people a lot easier than you can find them in real life. I started some super fun co-writing with one of these writer pals, but then he went and decided he wasn't a writer after all or some crap, and the story died on the vine, and my heart shattered into a million little pieces for the loss of a story that could have been. I guess if I there's a downside to co-writing, that's it. People might kick you to the curb.
I'm over it.
No, I am.
Then good ol' Jennifer, another writer pal from the magical internet, asked if I'd be interested in writing a YA mystery and I was all like hecks yes, and we've been writing ever since.
I'm sure you're wondering how one works on a project with a person halfway across the country. You're so curious I can feel it all the way back from here in the past before you even read this.
The key to co-writing is Google Drive. This is a picture of how Google Docs works:
Before the magic of Google Drive, there was this cumbersome thing called Word. Bleh. All you need to know about it is that it's a half step above the Pony Express in terms of communicating effectively with a co-writing partner. Google, while its spellcheck is hilariously idiotic at times (Shut up, Google. I do mean "pointed stares", not "pointed stars." Presumptuous upstart, get back in your corner), is swell because you both get to be on the doc at the same time, making changes and bouncing ideas off each other and stuff. It's pretty much the same as having the other person in the room with you, except your hair can be super messy and you can be in ratty pajamas and no one will give you funny looks. And you don't have to clean up your writing room.
It's list time! What's so great about co-writing:
1. You can write twice the book in half the time.
2. You get to have fun with another person on a creative project.
3. If you get to the point of searching for an agent for your book, you don't have to do all the querying alone, and you have someone to whine to about the rejections as they roll in. Jennifer and I are currently in querying mode, and it's so, so, so nice to divide up this horrific process.
And the downsides:
1. Time zones. Sometimes your co-writing pal is a few time zones away. It's more of an annoyance than a real problem, though, for a halfway competent person. And Jennifer and I are halfway competent.
2. Sometimes the person decides they don't want to write with you anymore. But, as mentioned above, I'm totally over it.
So, in closing, I highly suggest finding yourself a writer pal and make a book.
Here's a link to books by Jennifer Flath: