I have engaged in a bit of duplicity that I'm compelled to expose. I’m exposing it
because there is a lesson in it, and one that I feel will benefit Slopers. This shameless duplicity will not continue, largely because I have lost my my co-conspirator
and writing partner, Biff. Biff has
elected to take a healthful break from on-line life. While I fully embrace
that decision, it is one that brings to an end our collaborative writing adventure. He is also a great friend to me and many Slopers, and I miss him very much. I
know that many of you do too—and no one was able to capture the great repartee
(the good, bad and ugly) among Slopers better than Biff. My little post today is about the spirit and benefit of collaboration and to celebrate my writing adventure and friendship with Bifferific, which I believe models true collaboration. I'm also hoping that you will be inspired to cultivate your own collaborations with others.
Genesis of the idea. I frequently send Viscous and Biff some of my
chart ideas. Both were generous in responding back with chart lines of their
own. Sometime late last year when Tim made
a call for some writing help, a worm turned in my brain. The final turn was the
idea of formalizing that informal collaboration process and constructing a post
for Slopers that was both fun and informative. I asked Biff if he would be interested in writing with me. We wanted to create a piece that was both fun
and instructive. (Now choosing Biff v. Viscous
is not favoritism…Viscous and I are collaborating on a book called, The Wit
and Wisdom of Lucy and Viscous. We’ve
not agreed yet on whose name goes first, so that project may be an incomplete
After some discussion, we thought that presenting counterpoints from two very different approaches that we each employed to the same chart would
highlight how the same information could be viewed through very differently
lenses/perspectives. We tried to find
charts of interest and create a theme around them. To provide these two
perspectives, we elected to create two fictitious personas—Luscious and
Thurston Drake because we wanted that posting to be separate from our own
happened to Lucy’s (my avatar) nickname.
Because we created two characters that were so
different from our own personalities, we got off to a bit of a rough
start. Sharp-eyed followers of Tim’s
comments will note that his lack of subtlety outed me from the get-go, and then
again post Las Vegas! The avatars came from a print advertisement for the Dubai
Racing Club that was sumptuous—one of the prettiest print ads I had seen. I had managed to capture it and post it on my
blog in December 2007—and I was glad to be able to recall it (vague reference
to Find Your Inner Blogger—and ease of finding ‘stuff’ you wrote!). We are both big fans of Nathaniel G’s
sharp-witted posts, so we enjoyed creating some content with references to NG’s
great love of Fieros. Thank you Nathaniel for playing along!
writing with Biff, I realized that while my ideas were good, his beautiful
charting, and concrete and clear entries and exits clarified my own fuzzy thinking–brought the 50,000 foot idea down to the runway without crashing. I also learned the benefit of breaking down my weekly/daily
(which I always used to find larger, compelling patterns) to 60/30 minute charts
to find more attractive entries—a discipline that I have integrated with very
good results. And, because we were
writing for a presentation to a larger audience whom we respected, we exercised great rigor. I know that this rigor informed my thinking and improved my techniques and execution.
I get this benefit, too, in having conversations with Viscous as we objectively discuss some of our less stellar trades and what we might have done differently. Or, how we stayed in good trades though our fingers were itchy and our palms sweaty. I have an enjoyable correspondence with Jiny with whom we share trade ideas or ask "What do you think?" questions. It is not 'what' we think so much but 'why' we think it. Putting that into concrete terms to another is forced discipline.
The beauty of what we share here in the Slope community,
indeed what Tim and all other committed bloggers share each time they write, is
that they are providing a point of view on which others can collaborate. The generous sharing of other ideas and
charts, which Jack D is committing to header posts and is a rich presentation
of terrific ideas, represents the best of collaboration. Nothing is more instructive
than having another look at your chart and present you with a different opinion
about the outcome. That opinion need not
dissuade you from your own opinion, but it can inform you of some risk of an
alternate view that you may not have considered.
My hope is that you found Luscious and Thurston's posts informative and
entertaining. Biff and I sure did
appreciate sharing them with you. I also hope that this post inspires other collaborations.
I would also like to remind Slopers of SlopeFest East on September 18, 2010 in Myrtle Beach. You can read about it here.