Saturday, July 9, 2011

Creativity in Collaboration

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of leading a private "From Blog to Book" workshop with an intimate group of women in the greater LA area. I prepared myself by taking a look at most of the attendees' blogs to get a snapshot of their blogging experience so far so I could better direct them when it came time for the one-on-one breakout session. And of course, I had an outline and I was pleasantly fueled by coffee thanks to our gracious host, Erin Shachory. I was ready. Something you should know before I go on...while I consider myself a fairly creative person, I lean toward type A tendencies when it comes down to business.

After a few introductions the workshop began and I did something very out of character - in a snap, I completely ditched the first part of my notes and went off-road. I was familiar with many of these writers' blogs and I found this format of workshop, one where information could be shared and considered openly would best suit this particular group. So I asked each writer to introduce themselves and share about their blog. Then the real workshopping began. They shared and I gave them direct, on-the-spot feedback. They asked questions...questions I had prepared to answer as we moved along, but here we were NOW and so answer I did, only looking down at my notes here and there making sure I was covering at least half of what I was prepared to discuss.

A beautiful thing happened that day - while I was leading the workshop, this dynamic collective group of talented, smart, seasoned and savvy writers opened themselves to one another to share their perspective on blogs, good writing and the evolution of publishing, answered questions from other writers as they bubbled up and shared resources.

This group left with new-found creative inspiration ready to give more shape and definition to their current blog or start a new one. But that creative mojo wasn't just sourced from me - they found it by connecting with writers who've been down a few roads they hadn't yet, they found it by community. And I left totally inspired by their energy, know-how and willingness to reach across the table to guide another writer.

You read a lot about the business of publishing, the rules of writing and the how-not-to-shoot-yourself-in-the-foot-when-approaching-an-agent advice from those of us who deal of have dealt with the nuts and bolts of publishing. But you deserve a little creative off-roading from time to time. Put your notes aside. Forget the rules once in a while and let your hair down. How else will Creativity find you?

Your action: Partner with a fellow Creative or a group and get to talking. Talk about books, writing, media, and all the possibilities writers have today they didn't have 10 years ago...let the brain wander, soar and dream. Connect. Collaborate. Create.

As for me? You may have noticed I didn't post a blog last Monday. I've been on vacation in the mountains with my family. I spelunked, hiked, fully explored my 5 senses, rafted and got soaked. The creative batteries are recharged!

Have a fruitful week, writers!


* The "From Blog to Book" coverage linked above was written by attendee and blogger Kim Tracy Prince.


  1. I love this! Some of the best writing and learning sessions come from opening up people's minds and getting everyone talking about their experiences. That's why it's so important to get points of view from as many people as you can!

  2. I love a woman who fearlessly spelunks and unabashedly tosses workshop notes to the wind! A sign of a true adventurous spirit!
    So glad I was there. Xo

  3. Thanks, Nicole. Yes, you're right. I encouraged one of my writers to join a local children's writing group and she was thrilled they were all far more experienced than she was - so much to learn not just about the craft but about what their editors are looking for, what works, what doesn't, etc. She's learned so much along the way.

    And Christine, thank YOU so much for coming! I loved your unique perspective and know-how...your blog served as a great example of what good author branding looks like. More soon on Christine, readers!

  4. When can we do this again? It was magical!

  5. Whenever you want! I LOVED it! Thank you!


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