The Gift that Keeps on Giving

It’s Christmas Day, and I’m sitting in the den of one (two?) of my favorite writing friends, JM Jeffries. Being the single gal that I am, this time of year can bring a whole ‘nother load of stress, and I really just wanted to get away. So on Thursday, I had breakfast in Atlanta, a snack in Phoenix, and dinner in California.

Jackie Hamilton and Miriam Pace make up the writing team of JM Jeffries. They are polar opposites in a number of ways, but they work well together. Sometimes I envy them, the fact that they have each other to bounce ideas off of. Other times I shake my head, because I simply don’t understand how they do it. How in the world do two distinctly different people come together and forge one voice out of two brains? Yet they make it work, again and again, with phenomenal results.

Now, that’s rubbing off on me. Because, while I did trip out to California because I wanted to thaw out, veg out, and pig out, I also wanted to get inspired. JM Jeffries doesn’t have time for writer’s block. I just asked Miriam, and she says they don’t get writer’s block.

(Oh, my eyes are turning green)

What they get is a hiccup in the writing vision, you know that trying to forge two brains into one voice thing. When one of them is stuck, the other can motor along, or start making suggestions and asking questions that gets the other going again.

It’s an amazing process, and makes me realize that all writers need something like that. No, I’m not saying that all writers should immediately go out and grab a writing partner, because let’s face it, writers are inherently solitary creatures. Most of us are doing good to listen to our muses, much less another person. What I am suggesting however, is that you have a critique partner, or at least someone you can talk writing with, bounce ideas off of. It’s amazing how much I discover I know about my characters and my story when I’m attempting to explain them to another person.

These ladies inspire me just by me being in the same room with them. Just reading their works in progress. Just listening to their enthusiam about their projects. I’ve made serious progress on a couple of projects just in the two days that I’ve been here.

Maybe you don’t need a writing partner, but I think we all need a writing friend. That is definitely the gift that keeps on giving, and I’m glad I took this trip out to California, so that I could discover that.

Happy Holidays to you and yours, and brightest blessings for the coming year.