Thursday, September 30, 2010

Team Player

Freelancers usually work on our own, so we lack the camaraderie of an office environment and the opportunity to bounce ideas off or share tasks with co-workers. We get out and about to meet with clients, but often there’s a sense of being a guest rather than belonging.

We also have the freedom of not having to show up every day from 9 to 5. On the other hand, that freedom can lead some of us to distraction and/or lack of discipline and motivation. So sometimes freelancers and those who aspire to produce projects outside of their day jobs pair up to keep each other on track instead of spending hours trolling the Internet.

The challenge is to find someone whose style and approach meshes with yours, yet with whom there’s synergy. For example, I’m a morning person and so don’t feel as productive working at night. I like keeping to a schedule. I tend to work quickly and on one thing at a time.

I’m writing a non-fiction book with a friend. Neither of us could have done this particular project alone. I need her knowledge and training; she needs my writing, editing and life experience. But until recently, this was a side project for both of us. Since we didn’t have a corporate deadline, it’s been a long time in the making. We’d work in fits and spurts, then set it aside for a variety of reasons.

We work very well together, are great at figuring out who does what when and then (usually) meeting our goals. We're good at expressing our thoughts on next steps, what stays in and what needs to go. There's no boss who has the authority to give all the orders or underling obligated to do what she's told. The only frustration has been keeping track of the various drafts, which on occasion has resulted in me spending extra time re-editing and comparing documents to make sure I’ve caught all of the updates and changes.

Lately we’ve stepped up our efforts individually and as a team. Now we’re 75% done and can see the finish line. Others are involved and have spent their time and effort to help us, and we do have a deadline for completion. So the pressure is on…this “side project” is now (and finally) real.

Stay tuned…

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