Write As a Team

Collaboration empowers success

The Little Quotes by Little Folks editorial team

The fourth episode of The Working Writer Podcast includes an episode with the team behind Little Quotes by Little Folks, of which I’m a part. It’s an episode that gathers the culmination of years of learning to collaborate and shares how a digital team came together to create a real book. 

When I hold our book in my hands, I feel the gravity of how none of us are alone, not even as creatives stowed away in our private silos. Collaboration is a clear and viable path to success. Corporations know this, and they forge ahead with agile software and collaborative platforms that empower teams to work together. Why not the solo creative and working writer? 

Write as a Team

Making a book from the ground up through publication and distribution can seem like a daunting task by yourself. Doing it alone isn’t necessary, and –– this might surprise those new to self-publishing –– it isn’t recommended, either. 

In the traditional model, the writer writes—the editor edits. The designer lays it out. The publisher publishes. The marketer advertises. Self-publishing does cluster many of these roles under the same hat, eliminating the gate-keepers and opening access. To the seasoned, experienced multi-expert, this is excellent news. More control equals more power! 

To the artist who wants the result but is overwhelmed by that many tasks––or doesn’t shine at all of them–– it can be paralyzing. How can you do it all? 

The answer is, don’t do it all yourself. Collaborate to write and make books as a team.

Collaboration defined: to work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something.

Hit Record was our creative playground

I rediscovered a spirit of play and experimentation on Hit Record. Hit Record provides artists a platform to throw ideas and art on the wall and see what sticks. Writing, visual art, photography, acting, music, and even idea-generation and brainstorming challenges are posted and anyone can participate in anything. The contributions are called “records.”

You join the site, pick a challenge, and post your contribution. Then, other artists choose multiple records and mash them together. This “remix” results in a new record with sources. On and on, this process snowballs towards the creation of significant projects, including Emmy-award winning TV shows, web series, commercials, music albums, books, and short films. 

When the end product makes money, Hit Record pays and credits every contributor. This kind of opportunity enthralled me, and I felt excited to have a chance to contribute to projects of such size and prestige. I’d never had such access on my own and it was exciting to see where it led. It was so inspiring and creatively invigorating.

Little Quotes by Little Folks is an independent spin-off project; we’re all Hit Record alums. It’s a collection of the profound, funny, and downright absurd things kids say, illustrated, and published as a hardcover book. The four of us wanted to make a book, and we had the collective skills + collaboration experience to do it. The interview shares how that process worked. 

We recorded this episode right before the book launched in November 2020. We’ve now seen our book is a success! We shared what we learned from the experience and each other as we made a book as a team. 

Write As a Team: The Companion Guide that pairs with this episode

The Working Writer Podcast is an episode and ebook series. This is Book 4

Included in the ebook is Ten Tips for Writing Teams

I mention in the book that one of my Hit Record contributions was included in the Emmy-award winning You Tube Original Create Together. It’s so fun that they sent certificates to everyone! I geek out every time I look at mine!

My Emmy certificate for Create Together

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Copywriting can pay your bills

Career evolution, creative blocks and copywriters: The Copy Cats

Episode 2 of The Working Writer Podcast features a team of corporate copywriters.

It’s writing lingo that applies more to fiction writers than copywriters but as a concept, it can apply to any creative project: pansting versus planning.

Pantsing is when you write by the seat of your pants –– you don’t know the twists and turns your story will take until you’re actively writing. The contrast of a pantser is a planner, someone who carefully outlines and every twist and turn ahead of time. In between are the hybrids, the writers who start with a loose plan they allow to evolve –– through pantsing –– while they write the draft.

I’m a hybrid. I had a topic and a high-level outline for this second episode of The Working Writer podcast. The interview this time was not with a single writer but a whole team of them: the corporate copywriters I most recently worked with at place we called “the company.”

Because corporate copywriting can be full-time and lucrative, it’s a fantastic way for a working writer to pay their bills with words. The team shared how their careers evolved into copywriting, how to find corporate copywriting jobs, and some of the tests and challenges writers on marketing teams face as they work with designers, managers and stakeholders.

What there’s no time for in a corporate setting is a creative block. So while “writer’s block” comes along for the ride for any creative, it needs a quick fix when writing is your day job. There’s not time to sit staring at a blank screen, stumped and depressed.

I thought I had the content on copywriting and creative blocks all planned out.

I sat down to write the Companion Guide eBook on writer’s block with a plan. These eBooks pair with the podcast episode in a complimentary way; each can be stand-alone –– or listeners can get the guide (less than a buck on Amazon) and further explore the topic. Every book comes with a fun “prize inside.”

You know what they say about the best laid plans…

As I researched and wrote, there quite a few surprises.

SFDs: Anne Lamott’s gift to writers

The twists and turns I discovered while working on this episode and eBook led me to a surprising place: trauma. Even though I write about trauma often, I hadn’t related it to writing and creative blocks. I won’t give it all away here (get the book!) but I will say that what I learned helped me accomplish the very thing I was doing: creating a podcast.

It’s like a cannibalistic nesting doll: a creative project explores creative blocks and in so doing, discovers the key to accomplishing the creative project in the first place.

Copywriting Interview with The Copy Cats

Amakeda, Tyler, Skyler, and Lora are all career professional working writers.

It might surprise you that:

  • None of us started out as corporate copywriters. We evolved into it
  • We were hired by a recruiter
  • Job descriptions don’t always match what the actual task load ends up to be
  • “Copywriting” is a general term that can cover several more specific distinctions
  • Being a copywriter can make you a better writer of anything, including fiction
  • Statistics show the majority of copywriters have something else in common. My proof is in this ebook.

Resources to help you Overcome Creative Blocks:

What the NIH says about Understanding Trauma

Plotting Your Novel with the Plot Clock

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman 

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

My standing desk 

The Companion Guide to this episode: Overcome Creative Blocks

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I hope you enjoy the podcast and get real value from it, whether you listen, watch or read. If you do, please subscribe and leave a review.

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