Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Let Me Proposition You

What gets me writing.

As we approach the end of the year, I'm contemplating two months of daily blog posts and what it might mean.  I've been concentrating (or stuck) on the idea of becoming a better, happier, fitter person and that's what most of this writing has been about. That will continue and change throughout the coming year, I'm sure. I want to be sure that I'm not just navel gazing the whole time. Instead, I want to be writing my experiences and understandings in such a way as to engage readers. To that end, I thought I would write about what gets me writing and how these posts have come to be.

I started a list of the things that get me writing:
a challenge
committing to publish daily (streaks)
an audience
carrying a notebook everywhere
thinking like a writer

Those are all the writerly things that I could think of on the spot and it seems a good enough list for now. There are other things such as having practice at writing, teaching high school English, reading, having creative and literate friends, and so on. There is a lot more to the writing than all this, but you get the idea.

This got me to thinking that I not only write a fair amount but I know something about how I got myself to this point with this writing. I'm not a novelist and don't know much of anything about that. I'm a poet, but I don't know that I'm fully aware of how that process works (though it might be a good thing to write about soon). What I am is a personal essayist and reflective writer. I know how to do that. I practice it. And I can teach others how to do it.

Which got me to thinking...

I wonder if there are others who have stories to tell but don't know how to start telling them. I'm sure that there are. My guess is that I know some of them. So what if we were to collaborate in some way? What if I was to mentor someone as they learn to write what is on their mind? It sounds like a perfect way to spend my time.

So what would I have someone do? Well, if they were local, I would meet with them at a coffee shop or bar where we could sit at a table for a long time and write. We would start with short bursts of writing, a little sharing, some more writing, and some more sharing. It would just be a matter, at first, of getting words on the paper or screen. I would introduce that person to and get connected so that we could motivate one another. I would offer them a challenge and ask them to challenge me. We would meet again. We would, in short, become writing friends.

And if they were far away, we would do this sort of thing online. I'd have them write in Google Docs, on a blog, on Google+ and share the writing back and forth that way. Same goals, same challenges, different ways of meeting up.

But why would I do this? What's in it for me? At the moment, as I have it imagined, there's no money involved. I want to try this. I want to have more reasons to write, to interact with writers, to teach without all the trappings of the public school, and I want to see if this is what is next on my horizon. It just feels like it would be good all around to give it a shot.

So, do you have a story you need to tell? Have you wanted to write more, to say more, to put yourself on the page and out in public? If so, let me know. I'll go there with you. And if it doesn't work, we have nothing but a few pages of writing and some hours that we will have spent on the endeavor. That seems a lot like nothing to lose.

What do you think? Anyone out there ready to write on?