Day 19: Take it or leave it!

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Day 19:  Take it or leave it!

Day 19. My cell phone rings. Which startles me. It never used to ring, ever. Then I remember I have reception at the house now. I recently switched from AT&T to Verizon. Voila. Full bars. Hallelujah. I pick up because I see the name of a talented writer, director, actor friend of mine come up. He is checking in to see if I’ve had a chance to read the latest draft of his script. I have not. I plan to. He’s feeling a little shaken from a note he just got from an agent friend of his. He’s shaken because he disagrees with it and it has instantly planted doubt in his mind about the scene. We talk it out. He relaxes. Opens his mind and decides to take a look at the doubt instead of shutting it down or shutting down the agent. By the end of the conversation, we both realize that doubt is just a part of the process of creating pretty much anything.

The conversation leads me to think about the concept of collaboration in general and what it really means. According to Wikipedia, collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. The agent friend’s goal is to help make my friend’s script as good as it can be. That’s my friend’s goal, too. They’re collaborating! Whether that was my friend’s original intention or not, it’s what is going down. The minute he sends his script out, he is instantly collaborating with whoever reads it. I love the reminder. Anytime I put a work-in-progress out to a friend, a colleague, an associate or even a family member, I am instantly in collaboration with them because, no matter who they are, they bring a different perspective to the table. And with that unique perspective comes a potentially different opinion than mine. That’s where it can get dicey.

Doubt is a potential by-product of collaboration especially when a collaborator doesn’t agree with you. And doubt can be an insidious, hideous, off-kilter inducing energy in our bodies. The real question is, can something positive come from doubt? I’m thinking, why not? It doesn’t have to shut us down. We don’t have to be dictators in our creation we can be collaborators. We can examine it. Use it. Create from it. No doubt that doubt can be a bit of a boo boo for the ego especially if it comes from negative feedback but, we must remember what Dirty Harry says in The Dead Pool, “opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.” And I think that’s a good thing! Bring on the assholes. I say collect them all! Diversity leads to discovery. Every two cents we get adds up to a potential new viewpoint or seeing an iceberg before it’s too late, or, the collected data can actually strengthen our position that our original vision is as right as rain. As the captain of our own creation ship we still control the creative reigns to our creating. Every different opinion I get doesn’t have to rock my boat or sink it. I can choose to take it or leave it.

Until tomorrow, create from what you have…collaborators, doubt and discovery.

Kelli Joan Bennett is a filmmaker, actress, writer, entrepreneur, advocate for creative thinking and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Think Outside The Box Inside The Box Media.


  1. Very true. A similar situation happened to me the other day. It’s a great reminder. Whatever form it takes, an artist must continue to strip away the clay in order to reveal his or her creation. Most times, that includes using the knife of another to get a piece of clay that you had not seen.

    • I love the apt metaphor of sculpting clay and the recognition of what can be revealed via a collaborator’s unique “knife” AKA perspective. Thank you, John!

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