Sixth Annual National Writing Day …

National Writing Day 2014Today is National Writing Day …

A day when everyone is forced to practice cursive writing for hours on end with stubby little pencils?

A day spent pondering the characters, plots, and techniques of obscure books once hailed as great literature?

A day to pretend to have read all those great books which some consider the hallmark of an educated mind?

Nope, it’s just about you writing . . .  

I used to think of writing as something that other people did … people with more patience, intelligence, and clarity than I.  Writing was exotic and somewhat mysterious.  I thought you had to smoke a pipe, wear patches on your jacket elbows, and be either oblique or gruff when discussing things.

As I now understand it, writing is simply putting your thoughts on a page, whether you are waxing poetic, telling an engaging story, or simply explaining a process in clear and sequential steps.   We write when we have something to share with others and we write when we respond to others.  

Even email is writing, although many of us forget that critical point … even the most routine of written communications deserves our focus and clarity of purpose.

Writing is simply communication . . .  

Now I write something every single day, varying in length from a few sentences to a few pages, and occasionally more … and I think writing is something well within the grasp of most of us.  We just have to get started.  As someone has undoubtedly said in one way or another, “The greatest novels start with one word.”

Not that writing a novel is all that easy, but if you start, you have just geometrically increased your chances of completing something written over those who never begin.

I have gathered below a variety of links about National Writing Day, along with some of my favorite writing inspirations.

Start with “Ten Writing Myths” to clear the air and create a proper framework.  I particularly recommend “Writers Write”, whose daily social media stream is a treasure trove of information and inspiration.   If you tweet about writing , use this hashtag:  #WriteMyCommunity

Ten Writing Myths

National Council on Teacher Education (NCTE) 

National Writing Day 2014

Writers Write on Facebook

Writers Write website

Lazarus Dodge on Writing

Jack Kerouac on Writing via Maria Popova

Here’s the bottom line today … It’s just you, a pen or pencil (sigh … okay, maybe a keyboard), and blank space waiting for you to create something.

Preparing to do what I enjoy doing every blessed day in the Heartland ….