Guest Post: Tinkerbell and Collaboration by Natasha Kolar

As a writer, I’m a little bit like Tinkerbell. I actually trail off into silence and oblivion when it seems that no one in the world believes in me. Sure, this has the potential to be a debilitating Achilles heel. But, on the contrary, the tendency has moved me to seek and find creative collaborations I never would have stumbled across were I a more solitary and self-motivated type.

My first experience writing with friends was at Biola University, where I was studying fiction and screenwriting. The more my classmates and I discussed our characters and storyboards, the more three-dimensional and cohesive they became. I never knew how green I was (and how much potential I had to become better) until that semester of coffee chats and classroom clashes with Mallie, Amber, Adam, and our other collaborators. And the most important skill we developed together was the ability to sacrifice our vanity as writers for the chance to improve.

After college, I made the wonderful discovery that my younger brother was all grown up and he too loved to write with friends. He’d won an award for a comic monologue he’d written and had nearly finished a slasher screenplay with his UC Santa Barbara roommate. Our shared love of creative collaboration launched a new season in our relationship that – seven years later – is more exciting than ever. Now family vacations, dinner table conversations, and long car rides are all blank canvasses to share and generate ideas for stories and scripts. Like me, Eames is not the type to become married to his ideas. Feelings don’t get hurt, criticism is welcome, and there is no such thing as a bad idea when we are developing our ideas.

To be honest, anything of value that I’ve written since college has been incubated in a friendship or writing community – from poetry games with coworkers to autobiographical sketches with my boyfriend, short stories with a therapeutic writing group to scholarly articles with my graduate school classmates. In fact, the reason I’m writing tonight is that SPACIOUS’ Cary Umhau keeps clapping for me – reminding me that I (like Tinkerbell) do exist and have something to say. While I may not be a member of a 21st century Inklings or Bloomsbury Set, dreaming up my own Mrs. Dalloway or Narnia chronicles, I’m not dead yet. And if my past has the power to predict the future, I anticipate that I have more friends to make and exciting things to write together. Maybe you are one of them?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tasha was not paid a commercial endorsement to say something nice about me. I’m touched to read that I’ve had any impact on her writing confidence. Tasha’s last blogpost on our site was the most-read post of 2012. Thanks, Tasha.

4 thoughts on “Guest Post: Tinkerbell and Collaboration by Natasha Kolar

  1. CLAP CLAP! I do believe in fairies! And I miss writing with you!!! I always think of you when I get the urge to write fiction again…

  2. Great post, Tasha. I’m just beginning to open myself up to collaboration. In many ways I’m all about connection, but it’s taken me a while to see that collaboration IS and REQUIRES connection. A big, “duh”, but one those things that took me a while to learn. And though it requires some vulnerability to share my own writing and ideas, I’ve been so rewarded as I’ve taken the steps to do so. Whatever lights me up, draws others in. A win win.

  3. Thanks, Lisa – I can’t wait to write with you too!

    Mallie – maybe we should switch back to our haiku games since you are such a busy momma these days? I miss getting to know each other through our shared writing!

    Mary, thanks for the encouragement! I think you are right that it is important to decide carefully who to be vulnerable with as we share our writing and collaborate. Some people inspire us, while others can cause us to question our abilities. When we find kindreds who light us up as we light them up in return – those are relationships to nurture FOREVER!!! Enjoy your new season of collaboration!

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