I come from a theater arts background--lots of educational and regional theater live and on-stage. i directed, designed for, acted and wrote for it. I'm mentioning this because theater is a collaborative art.
No one person can do theater. As a corollary, theater requires cooperation between several people to pull off. The author is filtered through the director's vision and the performers' interpretations. the play happens in an environment that someone else has created for the stage. Last, but far from least the audience must be willing to view the play as 'real' in a highly artificial setting for it to succeed.
Writing a book is something else entirely. It can be a one person project from start to finish; but, it is never at its best until the collaboration of others occurs. Critique, beta-reading, editing all bring other viewpoints to the mix and illuminate the work from different angles. Frequently the author has to say, "Huh?" and realize that his golden words are indeed not always golden.
The writer who can't divorce himself from his creation to appreciate the efforts of others to improve his book is missing out on a lot. Of course, the author who can't stand up for his own voice will be a doormat, but "All things in moderation", right?
So, lately, I have started the experience of writing a book with a collaborator from the beginning, and it's a pleasant experience to this point. A marriage should never be rushed into, and God knows two collaborators on a book should never venture beyond the level of sniffing each other's butts to see if a partnership is possible--all too often it isn't. But when each other's butts smell like hot chocolate and roses, heaven is papably near.
Anyway, I've begun a book with a digital friend Chris Stephenson of California who is the author of Word Wars, Once upon a Goddess and Planetary Janitors. We've worked through the tail-sniffing stage by beta-reading for one another and suggesting changes to each other's books, and we look like a potentially successful relationship.
The internet and e-communications are a wonderful and amazing thing--bringing such partnerships together that never could have happened otherwise. The world is indeed a village.
I'll keep those with an interest posted on the development of our book, tentatively titled Ganton's Gauntlets.
Keep writing, and please keep reading,