Welcome to day 3 of the Blogging A-Z Challenge. Today is a dual word: collaboration and creativity. Most people have an image of creative people as loners who write while holding 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? It’s time to try something different. Time to seek out other people because collaboration inspires creativity.

man in white and blue striped long sleeved shirt painting near seashore
Photo by Heinz Klier on Pexels.com

How It Helps

Collaboration happens when two or more people get together and start working together. While that’s a simplified explanation, it is what actually happens. The beauty of this situation is the varying life experience each person brings to the table. Someone with a different outlook can spark a creative outlook you hadn’t thought of before.

This type of activity happens in offices (and over Zoom meetings) all the time when diverse teams come together to brainstorm ideas or solutions to ongoing problems. It happens in art, music, writing, and 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 the holes 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.

Start Where You Are

Start where you are. I often use my husband as a sounding board. He gives me feedback on whether I make sense, should flesh out a thought more, or 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. Another 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 I FaceTime with to discuss what’s going on with our blogs.

There are also other ways that you can ensure collaboration inspires creativity:

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 not to find a group of like-minded people to collaborate with. Whether it’s an entirely online Facebook group or a FB or Meet-Up group that is local to you and schedules regular meetings in your town or local area.

Create your own group. One of my favorite mid-life groups was created by a woman I now call a friend. She wasn’t finding her tribe on FB, 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. You can do this through social media, Meet-Up groups, your local library, or even a local business that wants to support creative groups.

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. MasterClass is one example.

In MasterClass, you’ll find “masters” in their field, such as Jodie Foster, Malcolm Gladwell, Judy Blume, Spike Lee, Alexis Ohanian, Jon Kabat-Zin, Carlos Santana, Usher, Annie Leibovitz, Serena Willams, and Steph Curry are just a small batch of the teachers. 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? Since collaboration inspires creativity, how does your group work together to lift each other up?