Poets & Writers

Writing Partners

STEPH AUTERI is a writer and editor who has written about women’s health and sexuality for the Atlantic, VICE, Pacific Standard, Rewire.News, the Establishment, and other publications. She is the author of A Dirty Word, published by Cleis Press in October.

ABOUT seven years ago I wrote an ad and posted it to the freelance writing blog I maintained. Wanted: A writing partner who can kick my lazy, procrastinating writer’s ass. Must: Thrive on deadlines and be willing to offer up honest and constructive criticism while still being mindful of my multitudinous neuroses, my overwrought sensitivity, and my blind, codependent love affair with my own words. Should enjoy: Caffeine addiction, cats, serial commas, fuzzy pants, Slankets, and dance breaks. Interested? For the love of god, please e-mail me.

At the time I had recently resigned from a part-time permalance editing job at a lifestyle website that required me to commute from my home in New Jersey into Manhattan. I had been at the job for a year and a half, and while it had yanked me out of an income rut precipitated by the economic crash of 2008, I was exhausted by the daily bus ride, the forced human interactions, the effort of putting on pants.

But after leaving my job I realized that working from home was isolating. I could go days without leaving my house, without seeing another person. I had fallen back into the habit of talking to my cats or, worse, talking to myself when I actually emerged from my house. I had fond memories of a writing group

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