Thanks to everyone who contributed to my call for writing suggestions. I got about 27 responses and rounding up, that's $150 to donate to literacy organizations. I chose to split it between For Love of Children in D.C., Young Chicago Authors, and the Center for Literacy in Philly.
A lot of the advice boiled down to: Just fucking do it. Just write. Do it. Whatever you need to do, wherever you need to be, however you need to motivate yourself, do it. I appreciate the wide variety of examples people shared about how to actually get out of your own head and start getting words on the page. It was neat to hear stories I never knew from old friends and to hear from folks I've never even met.
One of the responses also described writing as a way of living. And that is actually one of the other major motivators behind this project. My sister Monika was a writer. She just wrote. Because she wanted to. Because she had to. Because she was a frustrated teenager who found words as a viable outlet. I don't know. We never really talked about it much. But her words do live on. For six years, I've been trying to figure out ways to do justice to her and the words she left behind. I'm hoping this project gets me closer to that.
I appreciate the head start I now have with all of these great suggestions and with the support I know I have from friends and family. (Including friends who were too in their own heads to share a response. Sorry for setting up such an unfairly "simple" writing prompt. I probably would have been flummoxed by it too.)
Didn't get a chance to share your thoughts yet? Please do! I'd love to start of 2013 with another batch of donations.