Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Who Is Your Sounding Board? by Andy Scheer

Do you have someone off whom you can bounce your writing ideas? Even better, someone who feels free to bounce their ideas off you?

The value of such a relationship struck me this weekend as Wayne and Cristie came for the weekend. They live two hours away, with a metropolitan area in between, so months often pass between when we see each other. When we do, we try to make up for lost time.

This Saturday as we drove to an event, Wayne asked me about his latest book idea. He didn't detail the approach, so I imagined a different slant and responded accordingly. Turns out he likes some aspects of what I suggested and will begin his research accordingly.

That evening he asked if I'd speak at the next meeting of a group to which we belong. The topic he named was nowhere near what I was going to ask about teaching—but a much better fit.

But the process wasn't finished. I named three aspects I thought I should cover. He reigned me in and suggested I focus on the one facet he thought would most interest the group. Again he was right.

We didn't limit our conversations to writing. We shared our experiences with our adult children, discussed their upcoming trip to Israel, and traded tips on gardening and couponing (mostly Carol and Cristie did that). And we browsed used book stores and pointed out finds to one another.

At the end of the weekend we all came away with treasures we otherwise would have overlooked.

3 comments:

Rick Barry said...

Of course, not everyone can be a sounding board. Many wonderful people (even people who read widely) don't have an imagination that can consider various facets of a raw idea. However, I am fortunate enough to have one writer friend close enough that we can occasionally do lunch at a China buffet and discuss our projects. More than once, he has made suggestions that I've adopted for my current manuscript.

Diana said...

Treasures- that is what you have Andy :-)And what every writer needs.

Linda Glaz said...

My crit partners are gold!