This is a post I've been thinking about sharing for some time, but hadn't because I was actually a little afraid to talk about it. When it comes to writing, the idea of collaborating with someone else filled me with both excitement and dread. Especially dread because I am not always that confident in my skills and abilities.
Yet, I seem to be doing something right. A number of people find this blog quite helpful and offer their own experiences which reflect many of my own. Furthermore, until now writing has been a solitary activity. I enjoy being the one to make decisions and not have to worry whether or not I offend someone else or hurt feelings. Oh, I've bounced ideas off certain people I trust, like my wife Helen. In her case, I do this quite often because I consider her much better read and more knowledgeable about science and logic than me. But in the end, the final decisions have been all me. So to surrender some of that control is a big step not only for me, but for any writer.
Yet, I've recently started working with not just one, but two different people on collaborations. I've known and trust these two individuals implicitly, (especially since one of them is my wife Helen). And already I've been learning a lot about collaborating and I've been finding the experience quite rewarding.
Working with another to create something new offers untold possibilities. With the right person, the two of you can generate entirely new ideas that you might never have thought of on own. Everyone walks their own path and has their own experiences and knowledge to draw upon.
In a good collaboration, it's not just sharing the work. The two of you actually feed each others imagination. You work (figuratively or literally) side by side, building and creating something new and exciting. Everyone has walked their own path and has gained knowledge and life experience that they can share, adding a new melody to the piece in question.
And if you start feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the project, there's someone there to help pull out.
A good collaboration, like the two I've been working on, has opened my eyes to untold possibilities. I can see so many stories looming in the distance and am looking forward to working on them down the road. But finding the right person to collaborate with... that's another thing entirely. And I'll be dealing with that in my next post.
So start giving the idea of collaboration some thought. It does hold wonderful possibilities, but it can also bring about new headaches. So beware!
Until next time, take care and keep writing.
*NOTE: I am not looking to collaborate with anyone else for the time being, so please don't ask. I've been approached a number of times already and have politely refused. If you're wondering why I've taken this attitude, wait for my next post and you'll learn more about me than you probably ever wanted to.*
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