Yesterday my wife and I celebrated out Valentines Day early by going into the city and seeing a string quartet followed by a dinner at Jardinière’s French Cuisine Restaurant. Needless to say, we had a great time, and the famed Borodin Quartet played at the Herbst Theatre, performing works by Beethoven and Shostakovich.
Seeing the collaborative, yet individualist styles of a four-piece string group of musicians impressed me to say the least. It also made me think of the collaborative versus individualist elements of other art-forms, namely writing. Oftentimes, we put the writer on a sole pedestal, not acknowledging the others that contributed to their work.
Think about how editors and fellow writers contribute to each other’s work, allowing them to both express themselves singularly, but also as a group. On Valentines Day in particular we often praise that most important person in a writer’s life, their muse. So as you enjoy this Valentines Day or compose a few odes to your sweetheart, remember that everything you do from art, to work, to life somehow stems from them as well.