Grateful for Collaboration in Community

Depp, courtesy of Warner Brothers

I am so grateful for friends and associates who share ideas. When you are in a community of trust, and the members of the community hold each other in high esteem and there is mutual respect, my goodness, you can certainly accomplish many good things. So it is with a fellow Coach Laurie Hawley of Aha Life Design who has been generating topics on youthful memories. Her concept, coupled with my happy accidental discovery that September is Roald Dahl month, made me hop onto my keyboard and start typing with gusto.

If you don’t know Roald Dahl, he is the author of such magical works as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Boy, amongst other fine reads. When I was in grade school, reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was like taking a magical mystery tour into wild imagination and charming possibility. I was such a fan, I once wrote him a note asking what he thought of the first movie  version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory(made in 1971, not the one with Johnny Depp). Much to my delight and surprise, months after I sent my letter, I received a 3” X 5” typewritten postcard signed by Dahl letting me know that he too preferred the book to the movie.

On his official website, I came across evidence that Dahl also enjoyed collaboration in community. There are several delicious posts coupled with audio clips from a 1988 interview. If you like to write or create, it ‘s a fun way to get a peek at Dahl’s creative process. One of my favorite clips is number 5:when Dahl reports that Ernest Hemingway taught him “the finest trick” about how to keep momentum going when you are working on a lengthy project, in this case, a book.

According to Dahl, Hemingway, simply told him that, “When you are doing good, stop writing”. Dahl adds, “ And that means that if everything’s going well and you know exactly where the end of the chapter’s going to go and you know just what the people are going to do, you don’t go on writing and writing and writing until you come to the end of it, because when you do then you say, well, where am I going to go next? And you get up and you walk away and you don’t want to come back because you don’t know where you want to go.” Dahl continues, (and I am paraphrasing), but if you make yourself stop when you are doing good, …you can’t wait to get back because you know what you want to say next and that’s lovely. His final clarification, “If you stop when you are stuck, then you are in trouble!”

Wow, that was profound for me, on many levels. First off, these wonderful writers enjoyed and clearly benefited from collaboration, secondly, what a great writing trick for keeping motivation, and third, I see a possible life lesson. I’ve often heard the expression, “Quit when you’re ahead.” Maybe it is more motivating to stop your physical activity or your work session before you are totally spent, or to stop eating or drinking before you are totally full and satiated. Perhaps such an approach keeps the fire stoked and the soul just a little more hungry to enjoy the activity even more the next time?

Hmmm, fun food for thought. True or not, I wish you many happy and fruitful collaborations! May you receive as well as give great insight.

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Date: Tuesday, 21. September 2010 19:11
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