Most people have an image of creative people as loners who write while holed up in a lonely office or painters sitting off by themselves in a field somewhere. Creating alone. But what happens when their creative well runs dry? Do they further distance themselves from others or do they understand how collaboration inspires creativity?
How It Helps
Collaboration happens when two or more people get together and start working together. While that is the simplified version, it is what actually happens. The beauty of this situation is the varying life experience that each person brings to the table. Someone with a different outlook can spark a creative outlook that you hadn’t thought of before.
This type of activity happens in offices all the time when diverse teams come together to brainstorm ideas or solutions for ongoing problems. It happens in art, in music, in writing, and it happens with NASA scientists. Collaborating produces results by sharing ideas and new techniques. Supporting each other and encouraging each other during the process.
By sharing your work and ideas with someone else, you can gain insight into problem areas. Sharing your work with someone else might help you find holes you weren’t aware of or plug holes that you knew about. Better yet, collaboration might help you go in a direction you hadn’t thought of or might have been afraid to try.
How To Collaborate
Start where you are. I often use my husband as a sounding board. He gives me feedback on whether I make sense, need to flesh out a thought more or need to go off in a different direction.
You probably also have these built-in collaborators, too. A sibling, spouse, parent, child, or friend. Someone who can look at your work and provide constructive feedback without belittling or attacking it.
Not only do I have my husband, but I’ve been lucky enough to find fellow bloggers where I live. One was in my small town back in Cheshire, CT. There other is here, in Orlando, FL. We meet for coffee, feedback, and encouragement. It’s nice to find a friend I can talk to about my projects. I also have another friend in Canada that I FaceTime with to discuss what’s going on with our blogs.
Other ways to get that collaboration you’re looking for include:
Take a class. There are a lot of classes around you. Some at schools or colleges. Some given by your town. And some by studios or stores in your area. Find a class that will either teach you new techniques or even something different just to stimulate your creativity. In a class, not only will you learn but you’ll also find like-minded people that you can collaborate with.
Join a group. Today, with social media, there is no excuse to not find a group of like-minded people to collaborate with. Whether it’s a completely online Facebook group. Or a FB or Meet Up group that is local to you and schedules regular meetings in your town.
Create your own group. One of my favorite mid-life groups was created by a woman that I now call a friend. She wasn’t finding her tribe on FB, mainly midlife, female bloggers, so she created her own group. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there to find your own group of people to collaborate with.
Take an online class. While I already told you to take a local class, you’d be amazed to find the number of classes online that will not only teach you new techniques but also foster a community specifically for collaborating with each other.
One of my favorite online places is MasterClass where you will find some of the masters in their field teaching classes. Jodie Foster, Malcolm Gladwell, Judy Blume, Spike Lee, Carlos Santana, Usher, Annie Leibovitz, Serena Willams, and Steph Curry are just a small batch of the teachers in MasterClass. You’ll also find an online community that MasterClass encourages to collaborate and create projects together.
Do you have a creative community to collaborate with? How do you work together to lift each other up?