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21 Inspiring Stories: Group Writing Project Results

4 March, 2008 Posted by Joanna As Group Writing Projects

Writing has allowed me to express my deepest thoughts, sorrows and joys without censure or fear of recrimination. Pen and paper beckon me and as I unite them, I am still awed by the power and passion they produce.

Karen Swim

I have just finished reading the contributions to My Love Affair With Writing, the group writing project I ran here last month, and I too was awed by the power and the passion of the words you produce.

There were 21 entries in total, listed below along with a short extract from each contribution. I have lifted the words that ’spoke’ the most to me from your piece - I am sorry if it’s not the words that you would have chosen, but I guess that’s part of the writing and reading cycle…

I took the piece that ’spoke’ the most to me, that moved me the most, as my criterion for selecting the winning entry. (The prize is a copy of Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down The Bones.)

My choice was “My Love Affair” by Karen Swim at Words For Hire. This is a beautifully written, deeply personal piece and I know it represented a stretch and a leap for Karen to publish it online. For me this represents what is good and precious about blogging - creating the space and the encouragement for people to share their words and spill their spirits. Thank you Karen, for sharing your words with us.

Learning From Writing

I have learned a lot from running this project: some new insights into the lives of old blogging friends, meeting new readers, discovering new blogs, learning what’s important to you about writing. There were some fascinating themes that emerged for me:

  • the importance of reading - especially the books we read as children
  • the influence of teachers and parents on our writing dreams and ambitions
  • how writing runs like a thread, a current, through many phases of our lives
  • pleasure in the business of writing and writing for business
  • delight in helping others to craft, shape and transform their words
  • enjoying the physical act of writing
  • how blogging so often gets our words to flow

I wonder what will be the strongest learning points, the most important ideas, the sources of inspiration that you draw from these pieces?

I hope you will be able to find the time to read, reflect and comment on the contributions - there are some real gems here that are worth a good look. I know 21 links is a lot to follow so you might want to bookmark this post and return in slower time to the ones that are intriguing you the most.

Thanks to everyone who took part: your words made me laugh, smile, cry, nod with recognition, and remember why it is that I do what I do - because our words count.


Contributions to My Love Affair With Writing

My Love Affair With Writing by Brad Shorr at Word Sell Inc:

The more I read, the more I wanted to write. And it wasn’t just the pleasure of word craft, either. I loved the clacking of the typewriter (I used my mother’s manual, olive drab Smith Corona); sipping coffee and smoking a pipe as I pondered over my words (yes, I was smoking a pipe in junior high..)

The Twists and Turns Of A Lifelong Affair by Alina Popescu at Words of a Broken Mirror:

Writing tormented me in such a way, I thought I will never find my way back to it. I missed it every moment of every day, I wanted my love affair back, my means of expression, my outlet, proper chambers for my thoughts and ideas.

My Love Affair by Karen Swim at Words For Hire:

My lover calls to me in the light of the early morning as the moon drifts higher in the sky and the smoke from nearby chimneys drifts gently into the clouds. I curl my toes in glee as I sink into his familiar warmth knowing he will always be there.

Writing, Life and Me… A Love Triangle by Marcia McLees Bogaert at Meeaugraphie:

I recognized my need to evoke emotions in others, especially those that had stuffed theirs in a sack somewhere. Blogging followed, NaNoWriMo took away any chance of escaping writing’s hold. I can no longer go a day without fingering the keyboard. It is my connection to me, to emotions, to reason, to humanity.

The Way The Light And Shadow Falls by Damien Riley at Postcards From The Funny Farm:

I know there are many people nowadays that want to become rich and famous through blogs or other writing endeavors. They meet in back dining rooms of Denny’s and share their writing with groups that critique and supposedly “help” one another other get published. To those I would clarify that even though payment is nice: if compensation were the main reason I chose to write, I wouldn’t be doing it at all.

To me the best payment is the therapy it provides along with positive feedback. Writing and being read makes me feel “seen” and “heard.” Writing in my blog every day is like sitting with a good friend on a country front porch talking about the way the light and shadow falls on things.

On Writing by Em Dy at Pulse (written earlier this year but submitted as a contribution):

But now I’m writing again, daily even, as what I promised myself I’d do when I started this blog. And now, the words flow continuously, one after the other. This blog is about finding the groove back.

A Reciprocal Affair by globalized at My Little Piece Of The Internet

When I write, I stretch beyond what I already know; I delve into new topics, track new trends, examine issues from different viewpoints and biases. I enter a different world, where my words and words alone represent me, where I can reach out and connect and network with people I could never meet in real life.

My Love Affair With Writing by Sandra Gail Lambert at Sandra Gail Lambert:

If this were a love affair with a woman, my friends would be having an intervention…My bookeeper friend would would want to know how much money I had been spending on making the relationship work. Frequent computer repairs, the new computer, printer ink, postage, conferences, books, more printer ink - this would all be mentioned with increasing despair.

Intimate Details Of My Love Affair With Writing by Shamelle at Enhance Life:

A few months ago, I was a bit obsessed with what other “popular” bloggers were writing. Here I was spending a fair amount of time on my writing, but didn’t see any positive results from a numbers point of view. I tried to imitate their writing style. You know what, it didn’t work! The numbers told the same pathetic story. I suppose, a partner knows when their better half is trying to be someone, he/she is not. I gave that up and just concentrated on being me, before it led to a break up!

Why I Love To Write by Robert Hruzek at Middle Zone Musings:

The fact is, that day literally changed my life. After that, I began reading voraciously. I particularly liked science fiction, because it exercised my imagination in ways very few other genres could. I realized that speculating about what was beyond my experience was something to be cherished and valued.

My Love Affair With Writing by Deb at Three Weddings:

Words are constantly circulating in my mind, forming sentences and paragraphs and stories. I liken it to the musician who always hears the music in his head. When he sits down to the piano the music flows to his fingers and out for the world to hear.

My Love Affair With Writing by Lillie Ammann at A Writer’s Words, An Editor’s Eye:

Throughout my life, I always dreamed of writing “someday.” Then at age 45, I suffered a stroke as a result of a chiropractic manipulation. I knew then that “someday” had arrived. It took a couple of years for me to recover sufficiently to be able to sit at a computer to type, but as soon as I could I started my first novel.

My Waltz with Words by Michele at Writing The Cyber Highway:

I smile each time we have a secret date. It’s the sneaky part that’s fun, when only we’re awake. I cherish the times I hear those whispering rivers of words that speak to my heart, stir my emotions, bring laughter, tears, and makes me think. I feel like a schoolchild, tiptoeing to the kitchen, lifting the lid off the cookie jar and taking the first bite from that scrumptious chocolate chip cookie.

5 Business Tips You Can Profit From by Cath Lawson at Catherine Lawson:

Business writing can be a fantastic way to make more sales. Whether you’re writing for your own business or copywriting for someone else, it’s one of most profitable ways to make money from words.

I expected business writing to be boring. In fact, I thought my last business had brought an end to my love affair with writing. No more writing fiction for pleasure at 4am in the morning – my whole day was dedicated to my business. But I soon discovered that business writing can be creative and it can also bring in amazing profits.

My Love Affair With Writing Began In Childhood by Amy Palko at Lives Less Ordinary:

Now, I don’t know whether it was her interest in my dreams, her faith in my ability to communicate them, or just the sheer relief that she was so unlike the teacher that had sent me to her office, but her words lit a fire in me. I started to write epics… Ok, well 5 page stories, while my classmates struggled at 2. I began to be known for my stories and my writing. It felt good. It still does.

Aloha In A Love Affair With Writing by Rosa Say at Managing With Aloha Coaching:

Aloha-filled writing is that which is a transparent view into the writer’s mana‘o – the personally felt beliefs, thoughts, and convictions borne of their values lived in their context (sense of place)

Simply said, aloha writing is ‘me, myself and I’ writing…

This is not about ego. It is about the indisputable fact that there is no one else on the planet who is exactly like you. There never was, and there never will be. Your aloha is pure you.

My Love Affair With Writing by Chris O’Byrne at Online Arts Marketing:

I love the process of communicating with someone through the written word and it often seems that I can communicate more clearly through writing. As with Natalie Goldberg, I often feel that writing can be a deeper vehicle of meditation for me than zazen. Writing helps me reach a place deep inside of me that is often hidden from other forms of meditation.

To My Muse: 10 Reasons Why I Love You by Joanna Young at Confident Writing:

I love the way you respond when I thank you for a word, a phrase, a beautiful idea. You’re like a cat being stroked, arching your back, rubbing your head against my hand, purring in delight at my thanks and your own brilliance.
And I love the way you stalk off, cat like, when I ask you to come up with some clever words. Proud, haughty, independent, refusing to perform on demand.

Write On Wednesday: My Love Affair With Writing by Becca at Becca’s Byline:

Words.
Which she tapped out on the old typewriter, her fingers gaining strength as she got older, taking on more than just made up stories, words which spoke to her feelings about justice and peace and the future of this world she was growing up in.

Why I Love Writing by John Crickett at Business Opportunities and Ideas:

I love writing, I have far too many business ideas, I provide consulting to businesses, I’m a techie with lots of Internet marketing experience and experience running Internet businesses - I should be blogging about business! So now I run this blog about business opportunities, business ideas and any other business related topic that interest me. I Love it, I get to write about business topics that interest me and I’m continually learning while I do

You Know You Love Writing When You Don’t Have To Keep It by Rosa Say at Talking Story:

It’s the love affair with the act of writing, and not with what I may have written. I write, and I am in love with writing, because writing helps me think, reason, and decide. It helps me make sense of things, and bring them to more clarity. Once I do, I can get on with life and move on to the next thing I’d like to think about, reason through, and decide upon or even better, create.


The Group Writing Project was part of a month long focus on writing Leaps and Bounds. The theme for this month is inspiration. Please do subscribe to the feed to see where it takes us!

Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach
Because our words count

To get future articles you might want to subscribe to the free RSS feed. You'll find more writing tips in the Confident Writing archive. Thanks for visiting!

Related posts:

  1. Are Your Hearts Beating Faster? Group Writing Project Reminder
  2. Group Writing Project: My Love Affair With Writing
  3. Life Is: A Group Writing Project

Categories : Group Writing Projects

Comments
Em Dy March 4, 2008

Thanks for including my post.

Minor correction though, my blog’s called Pulse.

I have added your blog in a separate blogroll called writing prompts. Thanks for being an inspiration.

Joanna YoungNo Gravatar March 4, 2008

Hi Em - I’ll change it, I took it from the URL, sorry - though you might want to make it more visible on your blog site too? :-)
Joanna

CatherineLNo Gravatar March 4, 2008

Joanna - that was an amazing piece by Karen wasn’t it? It brought me to tears. She certainly deserved to win. I’m looking forward to reading the others throughout the day.

Thank you for inviting us to participate in this - it was a lot of fun.

Joanna YoungNo Gravatar March 4, 2008

Catherine, yes, it made me cry too, without being sentimental. It was heart felt.

Thank you for taking part and finding a way to work the project into your blogging purpose :-)
Joanna

PS Hope you’re feeling a bit better.

Yvonne Russell March 4, 2008

Hi Joanna
Some great reading here! Your blog just goes from strength to strength.

I look forward to joining in your future projects, now that I’m back in the blogging circle.

debNo Gravatar March 4, 2008

Karen certainly deserves the prize. Her entry was amazing. What surprises me on what little I have read of the entries is how similar we all seem to feel. It seems many of the entries I could have written, well, not written, but I could see myself in so much of what they were saying. For example, Damien Riley on pursuing the almight dollar (or pound)over the joy of just writing or Shamelle on trying to copy others and finding it just does not work for you! This was a fun project.

Brad ShorrNo Gravatar March 4, 2008

Another wonderful project, Joanna. I look forward to reading every contribution.

Karen SwimNo Gravatar March 4, 2008

@Joanna, I am so humbled by your words. This project was so much fun for me. I actually forgot it was an actual contest so was doubly surprised at your announcement. LOL! The entries are wonderful and I’ve already started to read and laugh.
@Brad Joanna has once again allowed me to discover another great person. A pipe in Junior High? LOL!
@Deb I agree! So many of the stories resonated with me too.

This is such a wonderful community of people! I look forward to reading all of the posts.

Karen

Joanna YoungNo Gravatar March 4, 2008

@ Yvonne I’m not sure when I’ll do the next one - it is a lot of work! - but look forward to your contribution when I do. It’s great to have you back :-)
@ Deb You are so right. I had that very strong feeling as I read through them too. It really did seem like a group writing project - not a collection of individual entries, but something we were doing together.

@ Brad Thank you. By the way I know your ‘life as a writer fantasy’ wasn’t the main point of your contribution, but I just couldn’t resist including it!

@ Karen Well it was more of a collective effort than a contest, but I think having a prize of some sort generates a bit more buzz and interest.

And because this one was about writing from the heart I knew it would be okay to pick the one that gave me the most heart-felt reaction rather than worrying too much about getting my judging criteria right!

I hope you enjoy reading the posts and meeting the people who wrote them.

It is a most wonderful community here, you all make me feel very humble, grateful, proud.

Joanna

Rosa Say March 4, 2008

How rich with aloha this is Joanna. I will be one of those who bookmarks your compilation to come back to, for I need to honor these entries for what they represent both individually and in whole, and that means when I am not on the road as now, with ample coffee beans and milk for my espresso machine to sing as I read - pen in hand of course!

I had read a few via the trackbacks that were sent your way earlier, and so I can only imagine the experience your m?lama of them created for you. We get some sense of that by the exquisite skill and care by which you took our excerpts and published them here; reading this posting alone inspires the writer in all of us to Ho‘omau, continue, in causing the good to be long lasting.

Ho‘omaika‘i ana Karen, congratulations! I am eager to read your essay.

Joanna YoungNo Gravatar March 4, 2008

Thank you Rosa. I think you will enjoy them when you have the time.

Thank you as well not just for your own contributions (I know I am going to keep going back to that piece on aloha in writing at MWA coaching) but also your encouragement to others to take part.

I really enjoyed preparing this piece and selecting the excerpts to show off to you all. I think I might just have discovered the joy of publishing!

Joanna

Damien RileyNo Gravatar March 4, 2008

Thanks Joanna for that great writing challenge and then for linking me here. I enjoyed that. Your feed is great I’ve been reading it since the palko guestblog piece.

amypalko March 4, 2008

Just about to head to bed, Joanna, after another hectic Tuesday, but I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for instigating this wonderful project. Your topic was clearly an inspirational one, as we all seem to have relished the challenge. I know I did!
So, thank you again, and also congratulations to Karen. I also absolutely loved her entry and was moved to tears. I look forward to reading everyone else’s now!

Chris O'Byrne March 5, 2008

Thank you so much for hosting this, it was a wonderful way to connect with some great writers. Your choice for first place was incredible!

Em Dy March 5, 2008

Hi Joanna.

Will try to figure out how to make it more visible. The header was a gift from a cousin.

Thanks.

Joanna YoungNo Gravatar March 5, 2008

Thanks everyone, this has been such a fun project and a good thing is it keeps on rolling after the pieces are written as you read and comment on each other’s stuff :-)
@ Damien, that’s great. It’s the power of connections at work!

@ Amy Thanks for taking time to call in at the end of the day. I hope you’re enjoying the comments on your own guest competition at Lives Less Ordinary!

@ Chris, I’m glad you enjoyed taking part. Karen’s piece was fantastic, it also reminded me of what is so good and powerful and blogging - how we can take courage and confidence to write, share and learn together

@ Em Dy I’m no designer (=big understatement!) but I think it would be worth a look

Joanna

Jeanne DininniNo Gravatar March 7, 2008

Joanna,

What a fantastic list of entries! I’ve read a few, but it looks like I have my work cut out for me!

Great idea for a writing project!
Jeanne

Joanna YoungNo Gravatar March 7, 2008

Thank you Jeanne

I was so grateful to my muse for suggesting it! The topic really seemed to connect with people, my self included :-)
Thanks for taking the time to dip into them

Joanna

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