EzineArticles Asks: Do You Prefer Collaboration or Solo Writing?

Which Method Is More Successful?

If you’ve liked our Facebook page, you may have seen this post featuring a quote by Terry Pratchett:

“Writing is the most fun you can have by yourself.”

This got us thinking about the dynamics of writing. Solo writing has no fear of bottlenecks (waiting for a response from your co-author) and it has the flexibility to allow you to march to the beat of your own drum unhindered. However, solo writing can lack the creative “two minds are better than one” force of collaboration that may be your ticket to success.

Along those lines, we pitched this question to the EzineArticles Facebook community:

Do you like to write by yourself or do you collaborate?

This sparked an interesting discussion on focus, creativity, and collaboration. The more “creative” the project, the more “collaborative” the preparation and final outcome. However, more reported they found success in focused solo writing than in collaborative writing.

  • What are your thoughts?
  • Do you prefer collaboration or do you prefer solo writing?
  • Have you found more success in either form?

We’d love to hear from you! Please share your answers and more in the comments section of this post.

22 Comments »


1
Roger Webb writes:

Although I always write alone, writing for EzineArticles provides a different readership from my MyWebTrade site and requires that all material will stand on its own and not lean on other articles in the same set. That provides a useful discipline and improves both my site writing and my submitted material.

Comment provided January 3, 2013 at 10:46 AM

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2

I much prefer writing alone, whether it be articles, content, blogs or other works. Collaboration on an idea, however, is another matter entirely. Working with someone to gain information, their opinion, their insights into a particular subject can bring a writer out of a rut, offers them new incentives and a new perspective.

Comment provided January 3, 2013 at 11:35 AM

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3
Shirley Slick writes:

I always write alone; but before I ever write a word I have discussed the topic at length with a friend. We brainstorm about all of the various issues related to a topic. I usually mentally process the results of that brainstorming for a few days before I write anything. When I write “how to” math articles, I take my article to the same friend–who is math phobic–to see if she can follow it. If she can, the article is fine. If she gets confused, I know I need to rewrite. It is helpful to have someone who is not an expert in a given subject read what you have written before it is submitted. That person’s reaction lets you know how effective the article is. This is true for all topics–not just math.

Comment provided January 3, 2013 at 1:05 PM

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4
ntathu allen writes:

Interesting debate. Like Shirley and Vicktoria, I prefer solo writing and heartily agree re the value of sharing ideas and gaining inspiration and structure from sharing space with others, especially with someone who holds different views from myself.

Comment provided January 3, 2013 at 3:17 PM

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5
Joaseph Dabon writes:

Two many cooks spoil the broth.

Before this, I thought writing is a solo performance and I like to maintain it that way. Unless I am to write a term or research paper where assistance from people with deeper knowledge of the subject it desired.

I wouldn’t think of writing an article with somebody.

Comment provided January 3, 2013 at 6:46 PM

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6
lovely flower writes:

i always write alone but sometimes i ask opinion about my letter to my friends or my husband. and now, i am still learning about how become a good writer. you can share your letter before publishing. and dont be affraid to try …

Comment provided January 3, 2013 at 9:21 PM

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7
Randall Magwood writes:

I like solo writing. I feel that only I can communicate and convey my messages to my readers in a way that a freelance writer – or group could.

Comment provided January 3, 2013 at 10:54 PM

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8
emilla melati writes:

i prefer write alone to collaboration, but before i publish my letter i ask opinion to my friends or my husband, this point is to ask critic from them.

Comment provided January 3, 2013 at 10:57 PM

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9

I love it when individuals come together and share views.
Great site, continue the good work!

Comment provided January 3, 2013 at 11:35 PM

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10
Lance Winslow writes:

I worry about folks trumpeting the whole “Group Think” concept, but can certainly understand the benefits of a co-author under “some” circumstances

Comment provided January 3, 2013 at 11:41 PM

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11
Robin writes:

There are some things nice to do with a friend and other things better done alone. I prefer to write alone. I have written instructional media in a collaborative effort and find it is a time waster trying to get everyone to agree on minutia. Additionally, we each have different writing styles so a joint project can appear disjointed to readers ie, they can see that there were different authors. It’s easier if one person does the writing and others have input after they have read the content … that can be helpful.

Comment provided January 4, 2013 at 1:06 AM

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12
Robin writes:

It’s difficult to write collaboratively unless different people write different chapters eg, in a text book. In that case the authors are really writing alone, but the book project is collaborative. I prefer writing alone because it saves time and needless discussion about preferences, choices, grammar etc. A good approach in business is for someone to write a document eg, a Human Resources Strategy or Policy and then circulate it to other for comment about content. The feedback helps avoid missing important things and also it provides ownership to people in other departments.

Comment provided January 4, 2013 at 1:27 AM

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13
Debra Hartmann writes:

I have never written with anyone else. I am too dependant on having that isolated focus and shutting everything else out to let the writing flow. I think trying to write with someone else would be counterproductive for me. However, it would be interesting to try!

Comment provided January 4, 2013 at 8:40 AM

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14
Brett Riley writes:

I have only ever written on my own, but having said that I haven’t had the opportunity to write collaboratively. I would think that there would would need to be a high level of trust in your co-author for this to work

Comment provided January 6, 2013 at 12:47 AM

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15
Jose Quintero writes:

Most likely most of the Blog writers like me are Solo writers, however I can say by experience that Collaborative writting would help to make more interesting articles and might be a path of success for those that are not releasing good articles.

Comment provided January 6, 2013 at 10:40 PM

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16
Samuel Bani Dauda writes:

I have been writing alone, but from the point you have made, I feel that collaborative writing is better. This is because what I couldn’t see, the other author can.

Comment provided January 7, 2013 at 6:05 AM

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17
Elisabeth Kuhn writes:

I love the Terry Pratchett quote: My sentiments exactly!

Yes, I definitely like writing by myself. And 95% of the time I do write by myself.

There have been occasions where collaboration was appropriate and even needed, for example when I served on committees and we were compiling reports. But even then, the primary writing bit was doled out to members to do by themselves (a good thing).

Then we provided feedback and in the end, one person, once again, was in charge of making the whole thing come together as one cohesive document.

So even in collaboration, the primary writing is usually a solo effort, albeit one performed by multiple people (each writing his or her portion).

My mind and muse needs space to be able to generate written materials.

Comment provided January 7, 2013 at 10:24 AM

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18
Uthra Sriram writes:

Yes, I do prefer to write by myself like many others here. And at times, when I am writing about some technical stuff, I do consult my husband, but usually it is by myself.

Having said that, as a member of indeath,net, we celebrate every year by writing a fanfiction marathon; over a week -10 day period, different people sign up to post 1 chapter each, every 6 hours! So it is 4 chapters a day by 4 different authors, trying to write a murder mystery!!

It has been a hilarious and funny roller coaster!! For an added twist, everyone tries to sneak in references of the no of years the site has been up!! This April would be our 10th!! You are all welcome to take a look at our site and the fan fiction archives!!

Comment provided January 8, 2013 at 3:38 PM

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Robin writes:

What a great idea Uthra. It’s an updated version of a chain letter and must provide a challenge for people to keep up with the theme etc.

I may have to give it a go.

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19
Uthra Sriram writes:

Hi all,
Sorry about the typo in my previous comment. It is supposed to be indeath.net.

And yes Robin, please do; the more the merrier.

It has been fun and in the later chapters, bringing together all the clues, solving the murder and tying up all the loose ends involves twister like contortions!!!

Comment provided January 9, 2013 at 2:11 AM

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20
Rosalinda Flores - Martinez writes:

Collaborative writing and solo writing are both awesome for me.

The first is not so free, but excites.

The latter connotes more freedom, but very lonely.

But then, no matter what is needed of the writer in any way, is hard labor for his/her work.

Thanks for the article. A blessed day, all. Happy 2013!

Comment provided January 9, 2013 at 8:05 PM

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21
Gracious Store writes:

For an article of one or couple of pages, I’ll prefer solo writing.
For somethin that requires tens of pages, and have different subtitles or topics I’ll prefer a collaborative effort

Comment provided February 1, 2013 at 11:03 PM

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