Discovering a sense of discernment: thoughts on opportunity vs. opportunists

The discussion about opportunity versus opportunists in Walking in this World really resonated with me. I’ve found that once I get to a crucial point on a creative project, one of the following somehow causes me to abandon or dilute the project:

1. Someone suddenly wants to add a “collaborative aspect” to whatever I’m doing.
2. I start hunting for a day job because I’m terrified about the lack of guarantees in what I’m creating.
3. Someone wants me to just not do the project because of (insert unwarranted fear/strange reason in the guise of reasonableness here.)
4. I get overtaken with someone else’s pet project. (Happened with Pagan Pride until I just decided to quit.)
5. I am asked to “run” another project that is someone else’s idea. Much is talked about, but the project never actually gets off the ground. I am sometimes blamed for the absence of lift-off.

“Collaboration” is something of a local and online buzzword these days. There are so many collaborative projects out there, Wikipedia chief among them. Even so, the best work I’ve seen – on Wikipedia and off – is almost always completed by a single contributor. Good collaboration is rare, and is definitely not for beginners. It belongs to people who know themselves, know each other, and have the humility to fully understand their own talents. The more considerable the talent, the more humility is needed to work collaboratively with another person. While I fantasize about the magical person who comes along that I can truly collaborate with – someone so utterly compatible with my temperament and I with theirs that to be in the same room together is to spark exchanges in high color poetry – the reality is more about whether or not I fall for ass kissing and end up getting piggybacked. Maybe that person is out there, and my creative soulmate is also blogging their artist’s way experience and yearning to meet me. If so, we haven’t met because we aren’t who we need to be yet.

Certainly this is a unique type of crazymaker, the one of “Oh, you’re accomplishing something? Let me have you accomplish something for me.” It’s the chief reason really qualified and creative people don’t volunteer – too many volunteer managers look at people for their own ends, and fail to fit those people to their own ends for a greater good. Preserving my boundaries work. I got a strong reminder as to why I keep my phone rules last week, and I think that that was lesson enough.

Even so, I’m not sure if taking on the pay-work that I have and the unpaid column on a website is an example of taking on distractions or building my own opportunity. Here’s hoping it’s not a total backslide.

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