12 Days of Collabmas: What It’s Like To Work With Me (Guest Post)

Hi! I’m Marissa, the cowriter you’ve been hearing so much about on this blog lately. Eliza and I decided to do these guest posts so the lovely people who read our blogs can really understand what it’s like to work with us. 

So, what’s it like to work with Elizabeth? It’s an honor and a privilege, first of all. It’s a strange kind of connection that even through all the blog posts in the world, I couldn’t ever fully make anyone understand. She’s an incredible writer, and an amazing friend. She’s everything someone could ask for in a cowriter. 

Working with her is a mind-melding experience that I selfishly love benefitting from. She has this astounding talent for description, and creating characters and relationships that couldn’t feel more real unless they actually were. Beyond that, the thing I benefit from most in writing with her is the part of her mind that’s rooted in another world. She has the most fantasy-oriented mind of anyone I’ve ever met, and her ideas are so intensely creative that I’m often left in awe. As alike as we are, that’s where we differ, and it’s one of my favorite parts of working with her. 

She’s always changing my perspective on my own work, and creating new perspectives on her own. Where I just spout nonsense like a geyser of ridiculousness, she has this refined eye that just makes everything better. Everything we’ve created together is such a perfect blend of our styles, and I couldn’t be more grateful for our collaboration or her. 

When we work together, I often find myself drafting long strings of word vomit to fill holes she’s left in yellow highlighter. When I go back later and see what she’s up to, those yellow holes are filled with an infinitely stronger, more polished version of whatever drivel I conjured up. One of the most fun parts of collaborating, is seeing your own influence in something your cowriter has done alone. Cowriting is reading someone else’s story and thinking I’m so glad I got to help with that, even if all you did was suggest one name. One of my greatest joys in life is getting to see behind the scenes versions of stories that Eliza’s written, like her short story that’s being published soon, or “The Secret Keepers” that’s posted on her blog. I take great pride in knowing that I’m someone she trusts to see her work in its rawest form, and someone she comes to to discuss whatever issues she’s having. 

I also take great comfort in knowing that I have her to lean on. Writing and publishing are hard, and I never would have made it this far into my MFA experience without her. One semester, we had to turn in a story a week, and I sent her every single one before I turned them in. Once they had her approval, off they went. She’s always been there if I have a plot hole, or a block I can’t push through, or I get feedback I just really hate. 

Working with Elizabeth is one of my greatest joys, and I couldn’t be more grateful for her presence in my life. We’ve done a lot of talking about how great cowriting is for your writing life, but what I want this post to show is that having a friend like Elizabeth is good for your life in general. In any kind of art, and in any kind of life, there is nothing more valuable than having a friend like her in your corner.

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