I realize that most people who are creative of a sort most likely work alone and it’s a great way to work. Although, it can also be fun to share ideas and come up with a combined effort so that you can create something that is perhaps a different style than your normal flair. Too many cooks can ruin the stew but more than one can enrich it, so think about that for your creative endeavors as well.
My wife is one of my best collaborators. Most of you know I do amateur video and she has been a contributing factor to every video I have done, either with storyboards or a more active role. For the phobia video (found on my YouTube page: www.youtube.com/satucker1980), she did makeup and also helped with lighting and assisted in the brainstorming for the project. Together we’ve actually came up with a lot of ideas together that we’ve worked into skits (we just have to capture them on camera and we’re good). It’s important to have someone who can not only nurture your ideas but strengthen them with additional thought. My wife and I just start making jokes and build these massive scenarios around them, it wasn’t something that I at first realized as assisting in the writing process. Yet I can’t think about what else one could call it. I may put the pen to paper (or finger to keyboard as the case may be) but that doesn’t mean that her input wasn’t just as valuable. She added to the sum of the parts and made it better.
I think you need someone that you feel comfortable enough around to work with so that you can just let ideas fly back and forth. It helps me because I can be my goofy/melodramatic/weird/off-the-wall/slightly-crazed self which helps me think because I’m not confined by my concerns about being judged or having someone’s opinion of me drop.
There are people that I’ve met recently, that I think I could collaborate with. I realize that this may seem like an odd thing to say and it’s not something that I look for upon initially meeting someone. Normally I at least wait until we’re into the third line of a conversation before bringing up zombies, C’thulhu, or Bruce Campbell (it all depends on the conversation really). I think the reason that I feel these people would be good collaborators is simply because we share similar interests and they have talents that I can’t bring to the table. I’m a film maker yet I know nothing of music. I write but another person’s writing may be strong in the areas that I’m weak. Essentially, you don’t want to write with a carbon copy of yourself, you want someone who brings the other ingredients to the table (to go back to my cooking analogy). A few good places to meet people to talk and mingle with can be found on meetup or in your local area through bulletin boards, craigslist (you know what section I mean and it’s not the personals), or through local writing groups. I think as creative people, it helps to meet other creative people to challenge us on our points and at the same time help strengthen our skill.
So it may not be an easy thing for you to do or even something that you are interested in, but if you think it could help you or might even be a fun exercise; form your fantastic four, dynamic duo, or whatever alliterative numeric group you like. Just make sure you are getting with someone that can bring a different approach/flavor to the thought process and make sure that you can actually be comfortable with the person. If not you are going to worry too much about either impressing or not scaring them with your crazy mind and you don’t want that to be the case. So just relax take a deep breath and put on a smile. It’s kind of like kindergarten, you don’t know anyone but remember how easy it was to make friends back then, that’s right just share a juice box with them. So enjoy your creative soup and bon appétit!