Monday, December 14, 2015

Jacqui Jacoby -- Friends by Choice. Writers by Committal.

Please welcome Jacqui Jacoby to the blog today!
Friends by Choice.  Writers by Committal.
            I look at the clock now and wonder how it all went by so fast.  It was spring of 1996 when I answered an  ad on American Online—then the premier internet service--and met up with two writers who would define the concept of “writing partners.”          
It started fairly typical: “I’ll look at your chapter if you look at mine.” The trouble with us, though, is after awhile the who did what of “keeping it even” disappeared.
            We called ourselves SIN … Suspense and Intrigue Network.
            Cee was the leader, the rock. Kelly was the heart, the good girl. And me?  I’m the live wire.
            Cee beta-ed Bystander before it went to print. Kelly edited my proposal for The Dead Men.   Magic Man is dedicated to them both.
            We have been to conferences together, cheered through the years and wiped the tears when the rejections came.
            In 2005 we attended a conference in New York together. We hit the streets to see the sights on our off time and one of those stops was Tiffany’s. Seemed like a good place to visit though I got uninterested quick. They wandered around looking at the shinys while I spotted a salesman behind a counter. 
            “Are you bored?” I asked him.
            “You have no idea,” he said.
            Looking in the display I pointed at something that priced out as more than my car.
            “Can I try that on?” I smiled at him.
            “You bet,” he said. He got the velvet board, he told me about the diamonds, the make.  He gave me the whole shebang knowing I was never going to buy it.
            It was about then I got caught.
             “What. Are. You. Doing?  You are embarrassing me!  I can’t take you anywhere …”  All said with humor and a grin.
            What made this work?
            We met once a week for an hour online for more years than I can remember.  We created online exercises to tone our skills: You each have a character of your trapped in an elevator.  How do they react to the situation and each other?
            We did tandem writing, each one taking a set amount of a story, then rotating to the next person who added theirs, then moving along.  Made a great a story.
            We did a “round robin.” Let’s say I had a printed manuscript.  I sent it to Cee with all the postage it needed. She marked it up then mailed it to Kelly, who did the same. Kelly mailed the drawn up mess back to me. 
            Having a writing relationship will give you someone who will kick you in the butt and tell you to finish that project, enter that contest, and submit that book. More people with writing partners finish their projects than those that write in solitary.
            What benefits can you achieve in this relationship?
  • Writing is lonely. Now it’s not.
  • Brainstorming.
  • Accountability.
  • You are less likely to suffer from writer’s block with someone to help you.

How do you make it work?
  • Discuss expectations ahead of time.
  • Handle problems while they’re small.
  • Try to “keep it even” while understanding this spring maybe they have a huge project and need more of you. You can recoup that next fall when the roles are reversed.
  • But … You have to give as much as you take.  It’s a two way street.
  • Do not keep score.
  • Remember birthdays. Remember anniversaries … how many kids they have. Know the person you are working with. You don’t have to smother, but be aware.
  • Always look for ways to improve.

            Finding Cee and Kelly-- it boasted my morale and my writing.  We’ve had our ups and downs both in our stories and lives.  With writing and contests we entered…we’ve seen it all. We’ve had years when we were the best of friends. We’ve had others when had to remind ourselves to check in. Eighteen years is a long time with a lot of loops on that roller coaster. It wasn’t always good. But it was never bad either.
            I answered an ad in AOL in 1996.  And now I have two of the most influential people of my life in my history.
            Find a partner.  Share in their story.

Photo caption: Cee, me & Kelly. New York 2005
Jacqui Jacoby on the web: 

Website           Blog        Twitter        Facebook    Google +      Instagram     Pinterest

A man raised in the Hollywood lifestyle, Sean Branigan wanted to try something other than parties
and high maintenance way of life. With the birth of his son, Adian, Sean walked away from the glitz to try something new. He developed a television show that would keep him in one place long enough to raise his kid right. 

Beth Hardwick has worked on the set of Snap Shots since its premiere episode five years ago. A writer by hobby, a reader by trade, she knew her all about her boss's reputation and his pretty ladies and never thought t
wice that he would look in her direction. 

Just getting out of a short-term, tepid warm relationship, Beth never expected trouble from her ex. She certainly never expected she would have to turn to Sean for help. 

As the ex refuses to back down, each threat he throws escalates until fear is the only reaction. It’s not only makes Beth a target, but Sean and Adian, too. Under guard and terrified, they will have to trust each other to get them all to their new life.

Buy Links: Amazon Kindle  Amazon Paperback Amazon UK Amazon Aust B&N  iBooks  Kobo
How about you? Who are your committed peeps? Give them a shout out in the comments!!

Mine are Jean Oram & Cali Mackay - 2 of the best people I know!

Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Bystander by Jacqui Jacoby


by Jacqui Jacoby

Giveaway ends December 31, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway


  1. There's nothing like having great writing partners to work with!

  2. Great tips on putting together a crit group that works! That's so cool that you started working with each other in 1996...I remember the online writing scene then and it wasn't easy to connect with other writers! Nice to hear how well your group has worked out.

    1. I remember I was moving the day we were supposed to start. I unhooked the computer last, drove 12 hours to the new place and hooked the computer up first so I could be there.

  3. Congratulations, Jacqui! Writing partners are important. I've had one stick with me over the years and he's made an impact on my writing.

  4. Congrats, Jacqui! It's always great to have writing partners or a critique group to keep you on track with your writing.

    1. One of us always carried "the whip". It was out job to move the others.

  5. I wish I'd found such great writer friends when I began this journey. They do make a difference.

  6. While I may not have quite the same level of relationship with my writing partners, these are invaluable relationships. Thanks for sharing your story, Jacqui, and congratulations on your latest release!

    1. We were in New York for a conference, sharing a room. Cee and Kelly are east coasters. I'm from Arizona, so I sleep different hours. When I woke up every morning there was a cup of Earl Grey, a muffin and a glass of milk on my night stand in front of my face. They take of you.

  7. What a great name for a group. I love it. And I love the story of how you met.

    1. I forget who came up with that. It was real fast, though, as we were defining ourselves. Glad you like it.

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  9. Congratulations, Jacqui! Writing partners are important and necessary part of a writer's life.

  10. Wow, what a great story of friendship. I had a close relationship with another writer when we both first started. We've both gone our own way now but we're still good friends. She was able to write full time when I was still teaching and parenting four active children so she needed someone with more time than me.

  11. Eighteen years? Wow, amazing! Couldn't agree more about the importance of writing partners. The greatest friendship I've ever had even started through such a partnership...

    1. Yeap. Answered that AOL ad in 1996. And it's been great.

  12. Great tips on how to create and be writing partners. It helps too, to not be worried about the isolation that can seem to be par for the course when looking at writing more seriously. Thank you!

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