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Back in 2013, I had a friend, Sean, who decided to write a novel. He had it all plotted out in his head, had put together the outline, fleshed out all the characters, etc. One day, while discussing writing in general, we decided to work together. We didn't collaborate on the writing itself, but we helped each other edit.
Over the next year and change, I wrote about ten short stories and a novella. With all the prep work Sean had done, the novel essentially sat in his head, fully developed, it took him a couple of months to type it up.
We edited his novel one chapter at a time, kicking it back and forth, cinching up holes in the plot, tightening the story line, sacrificing darlings, and correcting grammar and typos. While doing this, we also kicked my short stories back and forth. We took my novella one chapter at a time, as we did his novel.
At the end of the year and some, five of my short stories and the novella had been published. Sean, a working physicist with a Master's degree, decided to go back to school to get his Doctorate, and his life took a decidedly hectic turn. His novel languishes on the dreaded "back burner" while he buries his head in academic texts and limits his writing to what he has to do for school.
When Sean left the process, I realized I had gotten used to the interaction and mutual accountability we shared. I fell out of the habit of writing every day. I still wrote, but I missed the constant feedback.
Recently, I started on a new collaboration. Another friend, Grant, and I are writing a YA novel. Grant has, thus far, had a fantasy novel published. We have very different worldviews, but they complement each other. It is good to work with another person again in the creative process, though the collaborative writing is very different from the collaborative editing, I enjoy it.
I think collaboration at any stage of the process can be useful. It brings a certain level of accountability to the activity, and that's useful. I think, though, the more important aspect is the constant feedback and dialog between peers. I know my writing improved a lot while working with Sean, and I suspect it will do so again while working with Grant. I think we'll both be better writers from the experience.
I don't know if situations like mine can work for everyone, but if you haven't tried it, I recommend it. I have found it fruitful beyond anything I might have imagined before doing it.