| David Gane
Ang and I can't travel together. At the start, it's all good, but at some point we get tired of each other. We get to a point when she wants to go left and I want to go right and we expect the rest of the family to follow one of us. In the end, someone loses (usually me) and the division between us starts.
On the first big trip,the split happened early and it took us a while to talk again. On the second trip, it took a lot longer to happen, but it still did, but we recovered a lot quicker. Whenever we plan the third big trip, I expect it to happen again.
We know why it happens—we both want to be the captain steering the ship—but there can only be one.
I know I have control issues. I hate riding in planes because I'm not the pilot (but then I'd also have to know how to fly). Yet, when Ang and I write together, all of that disappears.
Why? Because we both want to get to the same place. We want to tell a good story that we think the audience will like. We throw all our control issues and all our ego out the window to get there.
When we thought about moving into novels and selling our stuff directly to the audience (and not to producers and publishers), we started thinking about who we as a brand were. Our name, Counios & Gane, wasn't a fight for who got top billing, but we went with what looked and sounded best. When we write, we don't fight over who writes the most or what the words are worth, as long as the audience enjoys it. If we don't have consensus between us, we work until we do.
Most importantly, we work against the idea of "importance". Every day a person writes, they put a little bit of themselves on the page. When I write alone, I put a lot of me on the page, and I put a lot of energy and thought into what those words mean. I shape and reshape them, trying for a very specific effect, one that means something important to me.
Yet, when I share it, most of that meaning gets missed or lost. It might mean that my writing is not that good or that it is not that meaningful. It might mean that readers don't have the time to waste digging into the work. All I know, is that the work is not connecting with the audience and yet sometimes I'm cool with that outcome.
With Ang though, I want it to connect and work with the audience and she calls me out when it doesn't. To do that, I have to give up control. I have to trust the process. I have to quit worrying how much of me is on the page and I have to quit trying to write "truly" or "for the art" because its not connecting with my reader.
Working with Ang is like adding a middle man somewhere between my ego, me the writer, the page, and the reader. She helps me release my tight grip that attempts to put meaning on the page and leads me to unexpected outcomes—our writing seems to be connecting with people.
We are on the last stages of releasing Part 1 of our book onto Kindle and our early readers are responding positevly to it. In fact, my main target audience, my 13 year old daughter, really enjoyed it, so I feel we're on the right track.
Some writers want to write something meaningful that connects with audiences and we put a lot of ourselves (time, energy, effort, imagination, soul) to make that happen. Yet, sometimes we need to step back and remember our audience also gives a lot of themselves back to us (time, energy, effort, money, imagination, emotions). The writer—reader connection isn't a one way street and we as readers have to start damn well quit trying to control it that way.