Are you a writer in search of a supportive community or looking for fellow writers to collaborate with you? Author, podcaster, and hope*writers member Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young found that joining hope*writers not only gave her the teaching she needed to grow in her craft, but also met her need for connection with fellow writers.
Through smaller, member-driven hope*circles, Dorina deepened relationships with other members and collaborated with them in ways that helped all of them flourish as writers. However, like many writers, Dorina has to actively fight against comparison — even as a veteran collaborator.
“My motto is collaboration over comparison. But if I’m ever in a spot where I’m feeling that inferiority, I have to pay attention to it.” — Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young
It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves and our work to others. This can keep us from collaborating because we view others as competition. When we see fellow writers thriving on social media, celebrating their latest published article, or signing a new book contract, it can discourage those of us who are struggling in those areas.
Comparison leads us to believe that we’re in competition with one another. Collaboration helps us celebrate and encourage one another as we work toward our goals together.
Even the most collaborative among us can be side-tracked by comparison. Comparing our own progress to that of other writers can quickly lead to unproductive feelings of envy, jealousy, and frustration. These feelings keep us from producing our best work.
The truth is we write better together.
Social media is a fun, connective space — until it’s not. When we compare ourselves to others online, it can be toxic for our souls and our work. Taking regular extended breaks, limiting our daily time on social media, and muting those whose work we envy are easy strategies to protect ourselves from comparison.
Envy and comparison can keep us stuck in our feelings and our own ambitions, or they can lead us to active, generous celebration of other writers’ work. When we feel competitive rather than collaborative, it’s an opportunity for us to choose a healthier response.
Rather than being held back by a feeling of inferiority, we can take our eyes off our work and encourage another writer in theirs.
Collaboration doesn’t always mean co-writing. It could mean co-encouragement. When we expand our view of what collaboration can look like, we find ways of working together that are life-giving and help us avoid competition.
“I found that collaborating with people — even in the sense of encouraging and cheering people on in their journey, not necessarily writing a book together — [causes] a deeper joy and gratitude to come out in me.” — Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young
Dorina discovered that collaboration can be a place where creativity and connection flourish, and that it can be tailored to our own needs when we take the initiative to work with other writers.
At hope*writers, we believe collaboration is for everyone, regardless of genre, writing stage, or writing goals. In our conversation with Dorina, she shares her best tips for how to begin a collaborative relationship. Click here for free access to our entire conversation and take one step towards balancing the art of writing with the business of publishing.