The Problem with Right and Wrong

The Problem with Right and Wrong:The Collaborative Creative Process

right_wrongThe problem with right and wrong
Is they’re used where they don’t belong.
The problem with wrong and right
Is they paint the world black and white.

A black and white eye won’t see
How a seed can become a tree.
A black and white heart will doubt
The potential contained in a sprout.

Black and white never leave room
To envision bare trees in full bloom.
Yet right and wrong do find their place,
Blended with wisdom and grace.

The Collaborative Creative Process

The collaborative creative process is like growing trees from seeds. I toss some seeds to my partner who sees their potential. She tends the seeds and sends back seedlings that look very different from my seeds.

Does that make my seeds wrong?

I grow and develop her seedlings into a tree.

Does that make her seedlings wrong?

She prunes my tree.

Does that make my tree wrong?

The tree does not negate the seed

The problem with right and wrong is they’re used where they don’t belong. I have creative writing partners. If we send each other’s offering back full of changes, it could mean our original was way off the mark, poorly written and uninspired. There are some editing/pruning absolutes. The period goes outside the parenthesis when the parenthesis is inside a sentence. Anything else is just plain wrong.

But in a collaborative creative process, revisions are often m
ore evolutionary than corrective. Lots of changes can mean that the exchange took the vision to the next level of clarity, sincerity and effectiveness. It’s a process. Revision does not negate the original any more than a tree negates the seed it came from.

In your collaborative creative processes, look for the tree in the seed. Envision the bare tree in full bloom before you lower the boom of right-and-wrong. In the collaborative creative process, right-and-wrong find their place by embracing grace. That embrace is the ultimate collaboration.

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