Topic: Toxic Writing Partners Irene S. Roth Today’s topic is dear to my heart. I know that I have been talking about the positive aspects of writing partnerships over the months. However, today, I want to reflect on toxic writing partnerships. I want to discuss them because they can stifle a writer’s creativity and possibly ruin writing projects. Most writing partnerships start out very positively. They are inspiring and motivating. The writing partners find the other person very encouraging and very engaging. The writing partner helps the other person write consistently, complete writing projects, and just know that they are good and have a lot to offer. So, what happens? Why does all heck break loose after a while? How can a relationship that was initially so positive become so negative and toxic over time? One of the main reasons why writing partners go from being positive influences to negative ones is jealousy. All of the sudden, one of the two people in the partnership feels inept and inadequate. But instead of trying to do better themselves, they feel they have to do whatever they can do to put the other person down and possibly destroy their reputation with a prospective editor. One of my close friends recently just had that kind of experience. She was so heartbroken. She didn’t know how a writing partnership could go from invigorating to soul destroying in what seemed like a few days. I tried to encourage her to move on and to forget about this particular partnership and try to form another one that was much better for her. Unfortunately, her book deal also fell through, making her feel even worse. It looks as if it will be really difficult for her to get that particular editor to look at her work objectively from now on. It seems like my friend’s toxic writing partner totally wrecked that relationship with the editor. Little did my friend know, they editor and her x- writing partner were as close as thieves, and her x- writing partner could manipulate the editor just as if she were clay. Writing partnerships, like any friendships, can become toxic and soul destroying over a very short period of time. There is no real rhyme or reason to it really, except maybe the green-eyed monster. When this happens, try not to take it personally and know that, when the other partner becomes toxic, it has little to do with you and says so much more about the person who is causing the dislocation. ~ To Writing past Toxic Writing Partnerships! ~ Irene