Wednesday, October 17, 2012

ABC's of Writing - (C)ollaboration

When I was in my 20's I took a management training seminar which taught a session that I have found to be useful my entire life. One of the things the program noted was that successful leaders utilized a skill called KNOWING AND USING THE RESOURCES OF THE GROUP. In later years, I found another education and philosphy specialist, Matthew Lipman describe a similar concept calling it "A COMMUNITY OF INQUIRY."

What I have found, over my years of working in this industry, is how successful writers do not tend to hide themselves away only to come out every now and then and hype up their latest book. Successful writers are always in the middle of conversations and discussions about their writing and their career. It is this collaboration and sharing that often creates some of the greatest pieces of writing out there.

We do know that throughout history, very famous and very successful people frequently were associating with one another. In these small groups, they often shared ideas and experiences with each other, and, without a doubt, drew on the knowledge from the others in the group to improve their own professional experience, whatever that might be.

David McCullough, in his 2011 book, THE GREATER JOURNEY: AMERICANS IN PARIS describes just such a situation. James Fenimore Cooper and Samual Morse hung out together in Paris. So did Emerson, Hawthorne... the list goes on and on.

The point is, as much as we might want to do things on our own with our writing career, we simply cannot do that without other people, and yes, this goes beyond your simple writing group or critique partners. Those extended friendships and collaborations you develop over time at writing groups, on chat groups and so forth, can lead to successes later on when you find yourself at a serious roadblock. If you don't have the answer, or you are lost with the next direction, you have someone who you can turn to.

The point is this. Build friendships and bridges with other writers and professionals in the business. Don't burn bridges. You never know when you might need that person later on.


No comments:

Post a Comment