I’ve just had the privilege of working with three other writers on a short play for voices. This became a very mind opening experience. We met only once a week and after each session I’d go home feeling enriched and arrive at the next session full of ideas. What I hadn’t accounted for was that they too would come back bringing their own new ideas.
It was so different from working alone, when no one questions your direction and you’re allowed to walk a familiar path. But when required to turn down a road you don’t know you have to concentrate, think on your feet, abandon the familiar. Your mind has to move in new and unexpected directions – until, once again you become excited, the new path becomes familiar and you go home enriched with new ideas – which will possibly get pushed aside on your return.
Writing with others needs give and take. It’s challenging and requires patience, but it stretches the mind wonderfully and makes you aware of ‘what ifs’ – which you can incorporate into your solo work – and when the people you’re working with are also willing to give and take, it becomes loads of fun.