Most of us have probably heard the saying “Teamwork makes the dream work.” And we can all pretty much vouch for the accuracy of that statement. It may feel like writers work in a vacuum. There’s a lot of alone time where it’s you, the page, and the muse. But even that is an important tem you have to nourish in order to progress. Without a good team behind you–not just of agents or editors or artists, but also of readers, supporters, and friends–it can be very hard and very lonely to walk the path of the writer.
Working on Eat Cake, a play I wrote and directed in 2019, really taught me the value of a strong team. For the first real time in my memory, I had a dedicated crew of backstage artists. This is a major difference from the cast members doubling as crew members. The ladies who worked in my Eat Cake crew were a huge boost to the productivity of the show and the company. They did makeup designs, wig styling, costume archiving, prop sourcing, stage dressing, ticket cutting, actor dressing, and so on–all the millions of jobs I have had to undertake in the past as a sole crew member. It was a huge burden off my shoulders and helped me learn how to delegate jobs better, how to create priorities to make sure everyone is working at their full potential. As such, the show progressed smoothly and beautifully, allowing me more time to devote to being a director. All because I built a team to support me and the show.
As a writer, you need a team to help you reach those goals. Not just publishing goals. Every chapter, story, article you finish is another milestone reached. Build and nourish your team. It could be a group of beta readers to read and critique your work in progress. It could be friends who take you out for a night to keep you sane. It could be an editor who keeps your edits right on track. And it could be your muse who you must care for if you want to finish that project. Because if you can make your team work, you can make the dream work.