Friday, October 19, 2012

National Day on Writing

Happy National Day on Writing! 

When I heard about NCTE and other organizations celebrating the National Day on Writing again this year, I was super excited to write a blog post and share this fun day with our Teach Mentor Text readers. Today is a day to celebrate the writing that we do in our everyday lives. You are invited to tweet some of your writing starting today. You can tweet anything you have written - it could be your grocery list, a note to a friend, an idea for a story, a revision to a work-in-progress. Just post them on Twitter with the hashtag #whatiwrite. If you have space, you can also add #day on writing. The whole goal of the day is to share what we write and bring an awareness to the kinds of writing we do on a daily basis. 
When I heard of NaNoWriMo a few years ago on Twitter, I was intrigued. I've always loved writing and think it would be exciting to write a book. NaNoWriMo sounded like a great way to get a first draft done. I actually joined in last year but it was really hard for me to find the time to write as much as I would have had to in order to finish that first draft in a month. 50,000 words is a lot more than it seems! It's important to remember that when working with students we help them build their stamina for how long they can engage in reading and in writing. I definitely experienced the realization that my stamina wasn't ready for NaNoWriMo and writing more than 1,000 words every day. 
I stuck with the piece that I started last year, though. I didn't give up on it after the end of November. I worked on my writing sporadically until this summer when I joined in on Teachers Write. Participating in Teachers Write this summer completely changed my life as a writer. It was so amazing to truly feel part of a group of people all working towards a common goal of writing. I wrote at my own pace, I wrote on the piece I chose, I wrote according to where I was. Teachers Write was completely a la carte and writer-focused. Through the support of the most awesome Teachers Write community, I set goals and had cheerleaders rooting for me along the way. I worked up to writing sometimes more than 1,000 words a day and to figuring out when and where writing worked best for me. Authors Kate Messner and Gae Polisner did a great job in supporting and facilitating our writing. After Teachers Write, I feel like I could tackle NaNoWriMo and be much more successful this year. 
For the last two weeks, I have been working on revisions! I actually am feeling great about revisions, believe it or not. It was an awesome feeling to finally finish the first draft of my book that I worked on all summer. Then I put it away for six weeks. And then, I opened up the envelope and have dived into my revisions. Revisions feel good because I can see things really moving forward. Now I at least have something to work with. I may not like what I have or I may have to make major changes to what I have, but the point is that I have something. I have something to shape and mold and work with and that feels phenomenal. I'll share a couple of pictures I have take as I have been revising this week. 

I'll share more on Twitter with the hashtag #whatiwrite. I hope you join in and celebrate the writing we do everyday. Not all of us are writing a novel, but we do use writing at some point in our day! Come share with us for the National Day on Writing! See you on Twitter!

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