In a couple of days, Shawn will launch a travel memoir of her trip through Asia.
“At 31, after her boyfriend dumps her and she gets a weird autoimmune disorder, Shawn Phelps quits her job as a business magazine editor and sets out on a seven-month journey from Thailand to Nepal to learn the secrets of happiness from Asia’s sages–not knowing who they are or how to find them.”
Late last night I paired with Shawn on editing her upcoming book, Help Me, Asia. She was driving and I was navigating. Actually, I was sitting beside her to support her. I don’t know anything about book editing. She is the expert and I’m the beginner. I wasn’t sure how much value I could add, but at the end of the session, we were both glad that we paired to edit her book.
- By being there, I helped her focus and increased her energy level. Before, she was tired and unmotivated to edit.
- I was a sounding board for her. Just the act of her asking me questions, helped her find solutions.
- I learned how she edits a book (I could use some of her techniques in my writing).
- The experience of having a common purpose and, together, we worked through it. It made us feel more connected and we had a lot fun.
I wonder how much greater companies could be, if pairing was the norm for creative and problem-solving work?