My journey as a writer has been pitted with emotional landmines. One day I soar on the wings of success, the next I trip over jealous pride. I love writing, and other writers… except when I don’t.
A few months ago I had to get off the blogging crazy cycle; comparison and the list of do’s and don’ts for successful writing were siphoning the joy, energy, and creativity from the writing process. Have you ever felt that way?
Let’s be honest, most of us aren’t, well, Joe Bunting. We like Joe, we might even want to be like Joe, but we’re not him. And that’s okay, because really without all of us Joe wouldn’t be Joe either. Let me explain.
We are all part of Joe’s experience and success as a blogger, and writer. If he hadn’t taken a risk and invited us to join his community most of us probably still wouldn’t know the name Joe Bunting. We are part of the process that’s shaping him into the writer he is becoming, just as he and the Write Practice community are a part of each of our own writing journey.
Community makes us better. (I hope you agree, Joe!)
Community is good. Collaboration takes community a step further. It can be the antidote to self-defeating jealousy and frustration. The Write Practice is a good example of this. In the comments, where we practice, the playing field is leveled. We’re learning and growing, giving and practicing together.
Collaboration fights the ugly comparison and competitiveness that can creep into our writing life.
What Is Collaboration?
Interestingly, according to Dictionary.com, to collaborate means
- to work, one with another; cooperate, as on a literary work: They collaborated on a novel.
- to cooperate, usually willingly, with an enemy nation, especially with an enemy occupying one’s country.
How interesting. Collaboration is a coming together with a goal in mind, and at times with people who could be at least the competition if not the enemy. There is power in putting down our agenda, our platform, our pride, and working for good, together.
Collaboration breads generosity and generosity often fuels success. People feel good about working on a project that includes and values them; that builds confidence and can grow a brand.
Collaboration can lead to higher quality writing. It’s for everyone’s best interest on a shared project to give their best. When ideas are shared they’re refined and strengthened. There’s power in shared creativity.
Collaboration nurtures humility. Let’s be honest, writers, like other artistic groups, can be a bit quirky and given to undaunted egos when left unchecked! Recognizing the talents of others in a community can give us a healthy view of our own abilities.
My blog is still neglected, and at moments I still wrestle the ugly beast of envy. Through this process though I’ve realized that what I’ve been looking for is something I feel more comfortable promoting than myself. And I think I’ve found it. A collaboration.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with making money off of writing, and there’s nothing wrong with healthy competition. Not at all. I hope to succeed in those areas one day. But more important than personal success is relationship, and living with humility and generosity. Collaboration nurtures all of those things.
Maybe you haven’t struggled with fighting your way to the top or battling jealousy. Maybe writing has been a harmonious adventure. I hope you will still agree that all of us together is better than one of us alone.
Have you collaborated in your writing experience? What was that experience like?
Here’s where I tell you about the group I’ve joined and invite you to collaborate with us! It’s a new, crowd publishing company called CausePub. We’re looking for writers to submit a story of a time they rebelled against their couch and lived outside of their comfort zone!
A portion of the profits from this e-book will go to the writers, as well as a group called Blood: Water Mission. The sale of 15,000 books ensures that 45,000 people in Africa will have clean drinking water for a year. Now that’s worth collaborating over, don’t you think?
For today’s practice hop over to CausePub’s website and begin your own Couch Rebel story to submit to the project!