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What keeps me writing? Tips that might help you too.

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

I've discovered what motivates me to write with passion. I enjoy collaborative writing.

I take time daily to write poems inspired by the writing prompts offered on social media. It is spontaneous fun. I thought last year I'd compile my poetry into a book and self publish. I've hit a point this year where my plan to compile my poems and art into a book has waned. But I'm not sad. I've learned something along the way.

I've discovered the joys and stimulation from writing articles for my university's alumni network newsletter. I'm working on my second article since I completed my first one in early February. The alumni office pairs me randomly with another fellow graduate. We get in touch and set our own schedule. The process of reading, researching, and interviewing is exciting. The part that causes me concern, which can affect the free, spontaneous quality of my writing, is wanting to write an accurate, grammatically correct article that presents the interviewee in the way they'd like to be presented to the public. I'm dedicated to supporting the insightful work they do by hopefully writing an article that will bring an audience to them through what we write collaboratively.

Here's some ideas to get you to consider writing collaboratively, in order of what I think might be easiest to more challenging:

1. Start a cooperative message board or journal with someone in your home. If you're like me, you love to hear compliments but might forget to give them. This might be a great way to remind yourself to compliment the people you live or work with. As I write this, I'm going to start this myself! I love when writing yields new ideas for me.

2. Dip your toe in the sea of writing prompt words, phrases, and images that stimulate me to write poems on twitter, instagram, or facebook. Have fun with it is the greatest rule. Just don't get pulled out by the riptide, checking your posts all the time and wondering if you will get likes. #whistpr on twitter is one I'd highly recommend!

3. Get a postal mail correspondence going with someone you know. Or even a pen pal. Interesting way to learn new perspectives without having to travel too. I recommend checking out Geraldine Brook's delightful memoir Foreign Correspondence: A Pen Pal's Journey from Down Under to All Over for teens or adults.

4. Ask your work, places in the community, or organizations you care about if you can help by writing articles for them? Many times, these places would welcome someone volunteering to do this work but are too busy to ask. It can be rewarding to shine a light on the positive news and efforts! You might discover what a joy it can be to write articles!

Another tangent to consider that I'll cover in a future post is how to do art collaboratively? This small painting I did was a study of a huge painting by the late Howard Hodgkin. I'd call it collaborative since my sketch is a sort of conversation with his original piece.

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