Beyond Publication: Ten Ways for Writers to Share What They Make

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Being a writer and living a writer’s life is not all about publication.

It’s not all about creating the perfect final product, either. In fact, I know some incredible writers who have never achieved that particular dream. And that’s okay. They have a different (and some would argue, bigger) contribution to make.

Beyond publication, being a writer and living a writer’s life is all about sharing the things we make along the way with those who will benefit from them.

Like this:

  • Each writer in a classroom contributes one work in progress to an anthology which is published using Lulu. Each writer receives a copy of their own, but the teacher orders a class set as well. Writers turn to the pieces as mentor texts.
  • A writer pauses in the middle of planning to capture photos of her process. She publishes this pre-writing photo collage on her blog, where other writers might learn from or adapt her approach.
  • Artistically inclined writers begin keeping and sharing their visual journals, in order to inspire others.
  • One student begins learning how to write code using Scratch. She shares the game she creates with others face to face and via the classroom blog, and then offers to lead a lesson for others who want to learn Scratch.
  • A published writer makes five learning stations, each featuring one strategy for overcoming writer’s block. During her author’s visit, she moves young writers through these stations.
  • An athletically inclined writers invents a new field game, writes the rules of play, and invites other writers to test it out. He changes the rules as he watches, based on how his field test works.
  • One writer self-publishes a book of poetry about being a young refugee in America. She donates copies of her books to a local organization that supports refugees.
  • Another writer writes funny five slide digital stories that are perfect for young children. He sends the links to a local children’s hospital director, so that the sick kids at that hospital can read, share, and comment.
  • A group of writers come together to advocate for social justice in their community. They make signs, they make phone calls, they make time to volunteer, and they make a difference using their words.
  • A writer falls in love with notebook keeping. She makes a notebook toolkit, complete with all of the supplies any writer would need to design their own notebook, and she donates it to her school’s makerspace.

What connections do you notice between making and writing?

How do you help the writers you know share the things they make?

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