NCTE’s Seventh Annual National Day on Writing is being celebrated today. The theme this year is #WhyIWrite. NCTE answers the question “Why a National Day on Writing?” this way:
In light of the significance of writing in our national life, to draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing we engage in, and to help writers from all walks of life recognize how important writing is to their lives, NCTE established October 20 as The National Day on Writing. The National Day on Writing
- points to the importance of writing instruction and practice at every grade level, for every student and in every subject area from preschool through university (see The Genteel Unteaching of America’s Poor),
- emphasizes the lifelong process of learning to write and composing for different audiences, purposes, and occasions, and
- encourages Americans to write and enjoy and learn from the writing of others.
This past week, NCTE@CSU held an event in honor of the National Day on Writing. They hosted a writing blackout for middle school, high school, and college students on campus. For 30 minutes, attendees and hosts sat quietly and focused on writing. NCTE@CSU provided snacks, beverages, and prompts, and attendees came prepared to share ideas and discuss writing. English Department Communications Intern Ashley Alfirevic attended the event and had this to share.
There’s nothing quite like sitting down with a group of writers fueled by coffee and ink, whether it’s in a Starbucks or the basement of Eddy Hall. This past Thursday, NCTE@CSU helped to celebrate the National Day of Writing, providing inspiration, caffeine, and a hashtag. Pen-and-paper and doc-and-keyboard types both gathered together for an hour of writing and a little bit of musing, occasionally pausing to tweet:
I started writing because my 2nd grade told our class we were all writers #whyiwritecsu
— Ian McCreary (@ianmccreary) October 15, 2015
I write to build relationships: in fiction, with friends and family, and across cultures. #whyiwritecsu
— Morgan (@MorgyRose) October 15, 2015
Writing is powerful — “Words are . . our most inexhaustible source of magic . . .” — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows #Whyiwritecsu
— Emily Rice (@MsRice_English) October 16, 2015
I guess I know why I write, but why do I want to? It’s difficult. It’s illusive…and yet necessary for me somehow? #whyiwritecsu
— Jenna Franklin (@JennaFranklin17) October 16, 2015
Some penned children’s stories on superhorses and alligators, others channeled Dr. Seuss, and others journaled in leather bound books they’ve had for years. Some said they prefer to write in little chunks, still others said once they start they can’t stop, either overcome by passion and vision or fear they’ll forget how their story is supposed to end.
Most said their urge to write started at a young age, encouraged by parents or teachers or publications in one of those Celebration of Young Poets books you had to pay $30 out-of-pocket for (they published one of my third grade poems about horses galloping through a field). Whether we looked back on our own early writings with nostalgia or a little bit of cringing (I do more of the latter), it served as a reminder that we are always growing and changing as writers. “You can find your voice, but there’s no mic drop when you’ve finally created the perfect piece,” commented Vice President Emily Rice.
If you’d like to find out more about the National Day on Writing, visit the NCTE website.