My husband is a brilliant writer. I think it’s part of the reason why we got together. His Doteaters website was well researched and written. His writing about computer games has been a labour of love for 3 decades and he did it for the joy of telling the stories. PhDs use his research and professors have included his website in their curriculum. What I find most admirable is his consistency in quantity and quality of output.
Then he found his work wife (work husband?) Chad where their collaboration led to even more interesting projects and a lot of fun. Both these guys are creative, with their own opinions, and yet they always manage to end up with something that they both like a lot. I have also seen how their friendship deepened during many years of collaboration. I have observed him with many other collaborators as well. They all seem to like him a lot. He was once called the set mommy because of how well he took care of the cast and crew.
He doesn’t hold back on his feedback… so it’s not like he’s NOT telling people what he thinks. He definitely doesn’t always agree with other people’s feedback, but he really really listens and seems to find a way to address the issues. He doesn’t seem to get upset about a critique, even if it means that he may have to redo or undo hours and hours of work.
I’m so envious about this because I’m discovering that maybe I’m not such a great collaborator as I once thought I was. And I’m observing him, thinking, I like the way he collaborates and I like the way he works with other people. So I asked Bill… what is the secret to being such a great collaborator? This is what he said:
I am solely focused on the process and the end product. If someone has an idea that can make either of those better, I take it and I make changes. If the feedback doesn’t make the process or end product better, I will thank them for the feedback and move on.
I asked him how he managed not to take anything personally, which I think I have an automatic tendency to do and he continued:
Because I want the best possible outcome. I’m really only thinking about how this can be better. So if someone can see something that I didn’t see, I want to do it. It’s not about my ego. My ego doesn’t matter.
Well, that’s something to aspire to! Focus purely on the process (systems and routines) and the product (outcome) rather than the people (ego). This is particularly challenging for those who suffer from complex trauma, because it can be difficult not to be hypervalent or perfectionistic. It can be very difficult not to take things personally. But watching it in action, role modeled by him, I feel that it is something I can aspire to!
Here’s a taste of some of his and Chad’s pop culture Nerdstalking projects where you can see his approach in action!
Ep. 45 – The Bittersweetness of John Candy – Nerdstalking
- Ep. 45 – The Bittersweetness of John Candy
- Ep. 44 – Toxic Star Wars Fandom/Best TV and Movie Picks
- Ep. 43 – Sick Movies by Sick People for Sick People: Some Nicolas Roeg Films
- Ep. 42 – We Bisect 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' and Watch its Baby Legs Grow Back
- Ep. 41 – Pump the Hate Brakes! It's our Deadpool 2 Review!