collaboration: a key to success
I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993, and over the past 20+ years, time and time again I’ve realized that collaboration is and continues to be the key to my success.
Indeed, freelancing can be a solitary life if you let it. But that gets you nowhere. Joining professional groups such as the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) or a similar group in your country if you’re outside of Canada is a great place to start if you’re a non-fiction writer. Those more interested in fiction, or who haven’t yet accumulated the necessary credits to join a professional association should look into joining a local writers’ guild. In Manitoba, we have the Manitoba Writers’ Guild and the Writers’ Collective. Each organization has its own personality and programming. Find the one that suits you best.
One of the highlights of collaboration in my freelance writing career was to be a co-author of the Manitoba Book of Everything, a local bestseller. I and two other writers were asked to choose which chapters we wanted to write in the book–part of a country-wide series published by MacIntyre Purcell of Nova Scotia. I received word of this project via my membership in PWAC.
The next major collaborative moment in my life was my crowdfunding campaign last year during which I raised $8,000 to help cover the editing, design, and printing costs of my new book, Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate. It was with the help of 120 donors that we collaboratively funded this amazing book that is now opening up the doors to other collaborative activities.
I’ve been giving chocolate talks based on my research into the world of chocolate and cacao in the Community Classroom of McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg. We’ve had a half dozen sold-out dinners so far, and have another scheduled for September 19th which I understand is already half full. Do join us if you can make it. They’re always educational, fun, and a delicious chocolate-based menu is created by the culinary team at the Prairie Ink Restaurant to satisfy and entice us.
I’ve now extended my collaborative reach further abroad, and am planning many more exciting chocolate events for the remainder of this year. Stay tuned for further details. And I’ve begun the process of seeking corporate sponsorships for Chocolatour, to enable me to continue travelling the world in search of the finest chocolate, most innovative chocolate makers and chocolatiers, and most exciting chocolate events to share with all of you in volumes II and III of Chocolatour.
All this talk and sentiment about collaboration brings me to the Beatles song, “With a Little Help From My Friends.” There is no way I could have accomplished any of the above without the help, inspiration, and encouragement from my friends, family, and colleagues in my professional networks.
How has collaboration affected your professional life? Have you had experience dealing with corporate sponsors? Please join the conversation and let’s celebrate the successes of our collaborations, and collaboratively learn from the challenges.