If you’re a creative soul, the chances are you’re precious about your work. You’ll look at your latest creation with glossy eyes as if it were your child. You’ll want to nurture it, perfect it. But in any creative environment, collaboration cannot be understated, even if that means loosening your vice-like grip on its shape, form and feel, because it can help elevate your piece beyond where you alone can take it.
Release and de-fog
Your mind can get foggy when you’ve been working on something for so long. You become so entrenched in it that you can’t view it objectively, so passing your draft to a colleague can help breathe fresh air through its words and imagery. Not only can fresh eyes spot typos – the small minutiae that, because you’re reading it how it should be read you don’t pick up on them – they can also offer a new perspective. Perhaps it’s bringing in an additional voice into the piece that you’d overlooked which ensures it’s as balanced as can be, or it’s an idea for a statistic to bring a point to life, by being open to collaboration, the poignancy of your piece can be maximised.
“You missed a bit”
Input from colleagues offers ‘end user’ reactions too. Perhaps the flow of your writing needs more, or less, full stops for impact or to allow readers to breathe. Or if your latest infographic is information overload, bringing someone in who can experience the piece for the first time gives you a glimpse into how your audience may receive and perceive it. Does it have the desired effect? Does it answer all questions, or does it leave a question mark hanging overhead like a big, grey ominous rain cloud? Collaboration makes sure your piece is as impactful and watertight as it can be before its published.
At Rumpus, everything we create is proofed several times, often by multiple people, before it is published. It ensures that the work is of the best quality, no marks are missed, and that the message is clear. We welcome feedback from others – it isn’t about ego; it’s about caring the utmost about what you are putting your name to. Being receptive to feedback is important as being safe in the knowledge the comments and edits are made for the best of the work, rather than discrediting the author’s talents.
It's good to be questioned
Whilst you may be precious about your work and have put every word or colour drop into it with a specific purpose and intention behind it, it’s good for your choices to be questioned. It reinforces your creative choices if you can justify why you used that word and not another. On the flip side, it can allow you to take a step back and view your creative decisions through a wider lens. Can that word be replaced with something better, or can the sentence be restructured to be sharper and punchier?
The worst feedback a creative can have is, “yeah, that’s good that” – being challenged helps improve your work and your skillset. You start to learn more about yourself, creatively and learn to adapt and improve what didn’t have the desired impact and grow through the ideas of others.
“Oh, I didn’t think of that”
Of course, the other huge benefit of collaboration is the new ideas it can bring. People experience different things in life. Therefore, there is every chance their different experiences will lead to new ideas you couldn’t think of yourself, which is the definition of collaboration.
In that too, there are a lot of learnings to be made. Surrounding yourself with other creatives, collaborating, conversing, and creating together helps you learn new ways of working, approaches to briefs, new skills and so much more.
At Rumpus, we have split into two distinct teams covering earned media (articles, blogs, news) with digital (social media strategies, SEO). Whilst the two teams are separate, communication and creativity are all-inclusive. We’ll often come together for ideas meetings and help each other out because we understand the power that collaboration can bring and want to harness it to its full potential.
It's great that you care enough about your work to be precious about it, but opening it up to collaboration can, often, be the thing that helps it thrive.