Webster’s defines collaboration as “working jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.”
Collaboration is a key ingredient to my creative process. Now that I think of it, I’m not sure I’ve ever created something without collaborating with someone else.
If you don’t follow me via my newsletter or Facebook page, then you are probably unaware that I’m working on a large project titled The Song and the Story. The project is a digital album of the most beloved hymns recorded by professional Atlanta-based musicians and powerfully narrated by professional actors and actresses.
The Song and the Story deeply depends on a successful collaborative process. For example, it was important to articulate my vision for the project clearly to my good friend Rev. Emily Case who composed all of the spoken text. But I had to be careful to give her the freedom to express her voice through the text and not micromanage the process.
Collaboration is important! Here are three reasons why it is essential to the creative process –
1.) Collaboration allows you to focus on your strengths.
I don’t know about you, but I’m better at some things than others. For example, I’m a strong composer, but I’m not great at writing lyrics or spoken text. Emily was kind enough to partner with me on The Song and the Story. She crafted six brilliant texts that add emotional depth to the musical narrative.
This collaborative approach has allowed me to focus on my strengths and pass others essential components to the project that lie outside the purview of my experience. In other words, I get to focus on my strengths and not my weaknesses.
John C. Maxwell has this to say about it,
“Focusing on weaknesses instead of strengths is like having a handful of coins – a few made of pure gold and the rest of tarnished copper – and setting aside the gold coins to spend all your time cleaning and shining the copper ones in the hopes of making them look more valuable. No matter how long you spend on them, they will never be worth what the gold ones are. Go with your greatest assets; don’t waste your time.”
2.) Collaboration generates more excitement around a project.
Now you’ve partnered with others to ensure your project is best it can be. Your partners may be strong in areas where you are weak. You compliment one another. But, there’s a bonus!
Hopefully, you’ve allowed your partners to put their creative spin on certain parts of the project. If so, then they have a vested interest in what you’re creating. If YOU succeed, THEY succeed! They’re going to want to share your work (their work) with others.
3.) Collaboration ensures that you’re making connections.
Why would you ever want to stick it out alone? In a world where connections are becoming increasingly important, the lone artist who retreats to the basement and only ascends when his project is complete is at a tremendous disadvantage.
Instead, seek out artists with whom you share similar values and goals. Partner with them to create something meaningful. A beautiful expression of art! If successful, then rinse, wash, and repeat. Congratulations! You’re building a successful network.
I hope this short post has inspired you to begin making connections and creating with others. You don’t have to do it alone! There are many talented people out there just waiting for the opportunity to connect and partner with YOU!