Prompt: ”Do you feel most comfortable being a leader, a follower, or a collaborator?”
First, I would like to say that my absence has been due to National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo – “thirty days and nights of literary abandon,” in which one writes a 50,000-word novel during November. Well, the 50,000 words are written. The novel is not complete, and it’s virtually all dialogue and no action so will require major revision, but it’s written.
Now, as the English say, “to our muttons,” the prompt.
There’s no way I could be a leader. I hate being out front and visible. I was a choir director for almost three years, and while I loved the rehearsals, and I loved when things came together for the choir, I hated having to get people from Point A to Point B. Those people simple did not want to learn new music, and would dig in their heels, well, like recalcitrant sheep. And there were several who could not get it through their heads that rehearsals were a good thing; they’d show up and attempt to sing music they’d never sung before, throw everybody off, then say, “We know all this already.” And there was no way to motivate them to change.
Nor do I especially care to Follow. Following can get you into big trouble. Or, as our mothers used to say when I was young, “If everybody jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge, are you going to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge?” Everybody’s mother said it, and it was the standard (New York) response to the standard kid whine, “But everybody’s doing it!”
I like collaborative effort. Not that I’ve ever experienced collaborative effort, but it sounds good in theory. Everybody gets their ideas out on the table, and you sift and sort through them to see what works. It takes longer, but in the end, you have something that works. In theory. Actually, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are a perfect example of a collaborative effort that really worked. So are Craig Benson and Robert Levine, who started out in a garage and built Cabletron, one of the computer giants of the 1990s (and a classic lesson in securities fraud: Read all about it here).
But what I really like is the Lone Wolf approach. Stick me in a room with a project, describe the parameters, and let me puzzle out what works. My Lone Wolf efforts are the ones that are always the most successful; I can work at my own pace, dope out the most efficient way to get the project done, spend the least amount of money doing it, and have fun in the process.
It’s certainly the way novels get written.