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Sara Naumann blog online class on set

Lights, camera, action. (And yes, that's a yoga mat serving as impromptu window shade....Rike's brilliant solution!)

I had the best time this weekend. I mean, wow.

Let me back up. Normally, my week goes like this: Anna is at nursery on Monday and Wednesday, so those are my work days. The rest of the week, I’m taking care of Anna while doing small projects during naptime and in the evenings—sending emails, updating my blog, writing instructions, our never-ending laundry, and so on.

The next thing I know, it’s Friday…and often by then, I’m simply overwhelmed by the sheer speed of my days. Because time is so precious, I pack tasks, chores, and items from my to-do list into every minute, without pausing to take much of a break.

It’s because I love what I’m doing. I love being so engaged with Anna—going to the park, feeding the ducks on the canal, reading and playing. I love my work—the teaching, designing, making and selling. I’m lucky to be able to do these things.

And yet, because I work alone (or with a baby!) I know I also need to get in regular doses of creative time with other people in order to get out of my sometimes-solitary world.

Let’s be clear: Other creative people who work well.

(Meaning, people who understand deadlines and hard work.)

So on Saturday my friend and frequent collaborator, Rike, came over to help me with an online workshop I’m doing this winter. We needed to film a test segment, and she’s a super photographer and all-around-creative soul who gives honest feedback and smart suggestions. She’s also a mother who works for her own creative company, and totally understands the need to 1) talk to adults; and 2) talk to adults about creative endeavors.

Needless to say, we had a blast.

Sara Naumann blog online class workshop collaboration

My friend and frequent collaborator, Rike, setting up her cameras and lights for the test video.

The work we did was fun and went smoothly (yay!) and the energy was so good and inspiring…it’s this type of collaborative work that I thrive on. It’s something I miss about not having an office job, with co-workers to bounce ideas off and get inspired by—but my current situation also allows me to choose who I collaborate with and on what type of projects. (I know we’ve all had the experience of doing group projects with people who let others do the work, but that’s another story. Or stories!)

Sara Naumann blog online class workshop table

My "work table" (also known as our kitchen table!) with Rike's sticky notes so I know where to keep my hands.

So here’s my thought for you: If you, like me, do a lot of work alone—especially creative work—I’d suggest you try a small collaboration. With the right person, of course, and on the right type of project. See where it takes you, and see if the energy you get from the experience can refresh the rest of your—perhaps solitary—creative work.

Have an energy-filled week!

PS. The workshop will be available from Creative Workshops. We’re aiming for a January launch, and I’ll keep you posted!