This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series The Blueroom creative space

My creative life began with my band. We have only ever played original songs – just about all of which were co-written by myself and my friend Graeme. I wrote the music on guitar. Graeme sang and wrote the melody and the lyrics (although sometimes he just followed the guitar line). We still do it that way, when we have the opportunity.

We didn’t really know what we were doing, we didn’t know how we were doing it. But it worked (well enough to get some A-grade musicians to join us). We didn’t really care, we were just having fun and loving it.

But there was a moment, all those years ago, when the ‘how-to’ creative penny dropped. One special moment.

The secret of creative collaboration was laid out before our very eyes.

Before I go on I should note that the following will be only as profound as you are willing to let it be. 

My friend and I went to see a movie. A movie about the genius of creative collaboration and how to make it flow. A movie unlocking the secrets of the world’s best collaborators over the centuries.

The movie? Bill and Ted.


Bill and Ted, of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure fame.

It sounds stupid, and in a way it is – because that’s partly the point.

What point? What secret? What did I learn?

I learned, in all seriousness, that in order to embrace creative collaboration, just do this: When someone offers a suggestion, no matter how dumb, how stupid, or how unworkable that suggestion is, never say no.

Never say, that’s dumb, that’s stupid, that’s unworkable.

Instead, say, yes! Say, that’s awesome, and have you thought about this?

And say, you are a genius, I love that, and how about this, and this!

It’s not the biggest secret in the world. It’s not the most profound, and it’s not the best (unless you don’t know it).

But it can inspire moments of sublime creativity and joy, and I commend it to you.


This post is a revision of an earlier article originally published as The #1 secret of creative collaboration here:

Headline picture courtesy of

Other picture: still from video footage of @DrWom performing with band.

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