Why Writing With Terry Trueman Is a Bad Idea

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Why Writing With Terry Trueman Is a Bad Idea

Some thoughts on Collaborative Writing

My Collaborative Writing Experience With Terry Trueman

Afew years ago, I stopped using beta readers because of issues with finding and working with them. I have never been crazy about beta readers or collaborative writing in any form, since writing seems to come from an intrinsic place of honesty, emotion, and critical thought. This introversion is especially true in certain genres such as literary fiction, which is much more difficult to find collaborators than science fiction or fantasy. If you ever tried to collaborate on a writing project, many issues arise such as lack of focus or loss of continuity. In academics, collaboration is spearheaded by curriculum requiring students to form teams and cowrite papers, which often read like multiple essays jammed together, all loosely connected to some topic.

From personal experience, finding readers in the late 80s and early 90s was easier (for whatever reasons) and has consistently increased in difficulty. Quality of feedback has also tremendously declined because people don’t know how to critique. Lack of quality readers is further exacerbated by the issue of writers being poor readers. The lack of beta readers led to more writers collaborating and reading each other’s work, especially on social media. This seems like a good idea, but writers judge work based on different standards than readers. Worse yet, there are many people who are writers who are not readers, which is just beyond my understanding. These people are offering beta reading only to have their work read and this quid pro quo reading clarifies when you get the rushed or poor feedback.

Today, I collaborate with Terry Trueman, mainly because he is professional writer but more so because he is fearless with writing. Honesty drives quality writing and no amount of collaboration will create engaging writing if there is no fuel of credibility in what you say.

With that said, collaboration, even with professional writers can be frustrating, and just because you can work with a particular writer doesn’t mean any one else can or will.

I have no doubt, I am one of the most difficult writers to collaborate with because I don’t care about your feelings.

Collaboration might provide new methods, support in the face of criticism, honest feedback, (positive or negative), improvements to style, and effort to make writing projects less time consuming — but every collaboration has its challenges.

Why Collaborating with Terry Trueman is a Bad Idea

You might think writing with a Terry Trueman would be a fun and creative way to spice up your blog posts, but trust me, it’s not. I learned this the hard way when I decided to invite my friend Terry Trueman to join me in my home office for a day of collaborative writing. Here are some of the reasons why writing with a Terry Trueman is a bad idea.

He doesn’t understand grammar. Terry had no clue about the difference between a noun and a verb, let alone the proper use of punctuation and capitalization. He would randomly mash the keyboard and produce sentences like “duh good words ooo ooo ahh ahh” or “me Terry you bad writer”. I had to spend hours editing his gibberish into something coherent.

Terry is easily distracted. He has the attention span of a goldfish. He would lose interest in writing after a few minutes and start looking for something else to do. He would play with my pens, chew on my papers, or climb on my bookshelf. He even tried to steal my laptop and run away with it. I had to constantly chase him around and bring him back to the desk.

Terry is also extremely messy. He has no respect for my personal space or belongings. He left food crumbs, fast food wrappers, fruit peels, hair, and drool all over my office. He would also scratch, bite, and rip anything he could get his hands on. He ruined my keyboard, my mouse, my chair, and my favorite mug. Worst of all, when Terry gets frustrated he throws feces and leaves huge nasty surprises on my carpet under my desk.

Terry is unpredictable, likely because of untreated mental illness that causes impulse control issues. He had mood swings that were hard to anticipate. He would be friendly and playful one moment, and angry and aggressive the next. He would hug me, kiss me, and groom me, but he would also bite me, scratch me, and throw things at me. He even tried to mate with me once by humping my leg, which was very awkward and uncomfortable.

Sadly, Terry truly didn’t care about writing topics. He had no interest in what I was writing about. He didn’t care about my opinions, my arguments, or my evidence. He didn’t care about my audience, my purpose, or my tone. Tragically, he did not care about his own writing either! He only cared about grooming himself and eating treats. He would ignore my instructions, suggestions, and feedback. He would scribble whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, however he wanted, and just didn’t care.

As you can see, writing with Terry Trueman was a bad idea. It’s not fun, it’s not creative, it’s not productive. It’s frustrating, stressful, and exhausting. It’s also dangerous, expensive, and should come with a warning label. So please, do yourself a favor and don’t write with Terry Trueman.

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