When I first learned of NCTE's efforts to establish a National Day on Writing, I thought it made perfect sense.
Of course a national organization devoted to literacy education would want to celebrate writing. NCTE has a long history of advocating for writing instruction, especially in the schools.
But what really got me excited about the National Day is when I started thinking about how it could have an impact in our everyday lives-- outside the world of education. Full disclosure: I'm not a teacher. I don't have a degree in English or Education. But I write every day.
As an NCTE staff member, I write for work-- marketing copy, reports, correspondence with members and colleagues, etc.
But I quickly realized that I write just as much in my "real life" too:
I write almost daily to my "email circle" -- a group of geographically scattered friends who keep in touch via the "reply to all" function in email.
I write blog posts and comments. I send IMs to friends and colleagues. I update my Facebook status. I send the occasional tweet. My friends and family know I'm more likely to respond to a text message than to a voice mail.
Every once in a while, I'll even sit down and write letters and cards—by hand!
Through cataloging the types of writing I do on a daily basis, I realized there were plenty of ways I could take off my "staff hat" and participate in the National Day on Writing-- not as an NCTE employee, but as a person, a citizen, a writer!
Sure, I can simply contribute a blog post or a short story to the National Gallery of Writing, but I could also take it a step further and create Local Partner Galleries for some of my groups/networks.
Some quick ideas include creating Galleries for:
- My e-mail circle-- We could compile our favorite (and appropriate!) emails and post them as a testament to our enduring friendship.
- My family-- I could invite family members to share stories, photos, slideshows, etc. in a Local Gallery chronicling our family history in celebration of my grandmother's 90th birthday.
- My book group— We could encourage group members to contribute pieces on favorite/least favorite books, lists of books read, etc.
- My exercise buddies-- We could each contribute a piece of writing (training logs, "I don't feel like working out today" emails, healthy recipies) that chronicle the highs and lows of weight loss and exercise.
- My colleagues-- NCTE staff could share their work as writers, either personal or professional.
The possibilities are truly endless.
How do you write in your everyday life? What groups/projects are you involved in (both in and out of school) that you might want to commemorate with a Local Partner Gallery?
Leave your suggestions in the comments. Together, let’s brainstorm the countless ways we can celebrate writing in our everyday lives.
For more information on how to start a Local Partner Gallery, visit www.ncte.org/action/dayonwriting.