When I lived in Los Angeles, I dabbled with having a writing partner. I didn’t really want a partner, but I was having writer’s block and my friend at least had an idea for a script, so we decided to pool our resources and put something together. I was hesitant at the start because we already had a tumultuous friendship, but I wanted to get my creative juices flowing.
Needless to say, the partnership did not work. I was doing all the writing and he was doing all the yelling, and thus to save our friendship the partnership dissolved. I vowed at the time that I would never work with a writing partner again and that working alone was the way to go.
When I started grad school at USC (Fight On!), I accidentally fell into a new type of partnership with the other two students in my program. We didn’t actually write together, but we all worked together inside and outside of class to support each other and provide honest and open criticism in regards to each other’s works. Those two people became the only ones I could completely trust, and I felt entirely comfortable with my writing in their hands. Though we graduated years ago, I am still in close contact with those two friends, and I send them my work as soon as it is complete, and they send me theirs. Our special type of partnership will go on as long as the three of us continue to write.
I learned from my experience that the key to a partnership is trust, honesty and communication. Not all of those items were present in my first attempt, and thus the partnership failed. Granted what I created with my three colleagues at USC was a different kind of partnership, but trust and communication were present and that is why it worked for everyone involved.
In our cover story, you’re going to read about three partnerships that are successful. However, that doesn’t mean this is always the case. In our You Tell Us section, we asked our readers to tell us about a partnership that did not work and explain why. Forming a partnership is not for everyone, and just because it works wonders for some does not mean it’s the right direction for you to take your business.
Treat a partnership like any relationship and think about the pros and cons before diving into a situation that is difficult to step away from. When it works, a partnership can be a wonderful thing, but when it doesn’t, it can create problems for everyone involved.
Take a look at our cover story and weigh all of your options before committing, and best of luck to you in whichever direction you decide to go!
Zipporah Porton is senior editor of Chicago Agent and Miami Agent magazines. A native of Champaign, she has been writing professionally for more than 10 years. In additon to a Masters in Fine Arts degree in playwriting from the University of Southern California, Zipporah brings both enthusiasm for the real estate industry and rich publishing experience. Send comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.