#AtoZChallenge: C is for Collaboration



I love this word, Collaboration. Particularly in publishing, no (wo)man is an island. Even self-publishing is the same — you have to work with cover designers, editors, proofreaders and sometimes illustrators to get a book done. Obviously, there are talented people out there who can handle these daunting tasks by themselves. They, more than the others, need to collaborate with fellow writers to succeed. Not only can they be the wind beneath each other’s wings, but they should also learn from and grow with each other. It is a humbling experience.

I have blogged a lot about collaboration between author and translator. When I am not writing, I translate, and it often feels like a privilege to be able to carry a great piece of writing across cultural and linguistic borders. While barriers between languages are real, cultural barriers are often imagined into existence by those on one or both sides. In this sense, to take someone into a new culture is like guiding a tourist who wants to do sightseeing, shopping, eating, photo taking, sleeping, phoning home, insisting on doing everything by themselves and being a lazy bum all in one go. This can never be done without collaboration.

In order to collaborate, you need to have trust. And, to gain people’s trust, you need to be transparent. I believe in the power of words because they help me see the person who creates them. Particularly when I translate a book, the words reveal so much about its author that I get to know them very well. Perhaps the most important issue here, to me, is how serious they are about their writing. Believe me, I have “sacked” authors who pump out book after book just to get money out of their readers’ pockets.

Genuine love for writing is transparent — you simply cannot conceal it in any way. Hold on to this heart of gold and keep going, and believe me, you will gain people’s trust and they will collaborate with you, so both of you can take wing and soar.


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