If there is one thing I love, it’s talking to someone about a story. Not even my own story, but just being a sounding board. There’s something about the creativity of others that I just find so fun and interesting. I have a deep affection for my friends, and my writing friends (Shout out to Emily at ninescoredays.blogspot.com who is awesome!) who inspire me with their own stories and help me shape mine.
Last semester for our final assignment in Classical Mythology we were tasked with making a creative project. There were a few different options, depending on whether you wanted your project to be written, spoken, or performed. I went for the writing prompt of course, because I’m all about the writing. Would I have a blog otherwise? However one thing stuck out to me. The professor had made notes on the differences between what projects did what, and under this assignment he noted that this was the best assignment for people who wished to work alone. Since the other assignments were much more outwardly collaborative this did make sense, but I still balked at the insinuation that writing was not a collaborative effort. Now I know that isn’t what he was saying, but it was the first implication that I grasped.
I don’t think I could have written any of my larger pieces without collaborative effort. In fact, I’m pretty sure that at least one other person looked over every assignment I turned in last semester (tests and other assignments where this was prohibited aside) to check for spelling errors if nothing else. And yet, beyond spelling errors, there are a great many things to be gained by sharing your work with others. A second gaze can help you know when to clarify, when to pull back, and when to elaborate. Critiquing is one of the best things you can have someone do to a piece, and while it takes a good amount of trust at times, it is also a worthwhile relationship to have with others.
Now I don’t claim to have a second reader for everything I’ve ever written and posted; for instance the majority of posts for this blog go straight from my computer to the servers, without crossing any eyes but mine. I do revise them, but the majority of the time that is a solitary venture.
That said, when working on major works, writing collaboratively is one of the best things a person can do. I mean hey, someone looked at this before I posted it.