This is what I love about being a co-writer. On those days when I experience crippling self-doubt, there’s someone there to tell me the honest truth of whether I’ve done any good. Ashley and I never lie to each other—I know I can trust her to tell me exactly what she thinks. But we never pull each other down, either. We give each other honest and specific feedback of the pieces that need to be improved, and praise each other on the parts well written.
And though we always talk through the important things, so often we think along the same lines that we’ve been fortunate enough not to have any major disagreements over our work. It struck me after looking over our last attempt at starting this book, that we could have taken the easy way out when we were planning it and adapted the material we already had (we wrote about ten chapters in an earlier version). But instinctively, I think both of us knew that we’d be starting it fresh. We never discussed it, but it was definitely the right choice, despite our struggles and self-doubt. When I look at the 15,000 odd words we’ve completed so far, it feels right. It’s still raw and it still needs work. But it’s our best, and that’s what matters.