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  • Writer's pictureLaura Schaefer

Book Collaboration Is a Dance

In early 2005, I learned to partner dance when I began attending Lindy Hop lessons. The lead/follow relationship is very cool...

...But it doesn't work at all if one person involved checks out.

Both people need to pay attention and give energy for the dance to unfold.

It's a conversation in real time without a rehearsal.

This life experience -- of learning to dance and spending several years traveling to competitions around the country -- proved to be excellent professional training for me. (Though I didn't realize it at the time.)


Because ghostwriting with my author clients is also a partnership, a dance, an ongoing conversation.

It doesn't work if one person drops out or stops giving energy.

I wish I could just take over for my clients and provide an excellent book to them in their voice, with little feedback or back-and-forth on their part after we have a draft.

I wish this because in some cases, it's what they are hoping for.

But that's not the dance.

The flow of energy has to endure for the length of the entire project.

The first pass isn't a book.

I ask for a lot from my clients.

I ask them to go all in with me, to own the project as a co-creator. As the leader.

Because having a book partner like me isn't a tap-out, it's a doubling down.

And it's so much more fun than trying to go it alone.

Anyone who has ever learned to dance will understand what I mean.

Let's dance.

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