October 20th is National Day on Writing

Every week, I try to send out at least one greeting card or letter to a friend. If you’ve read some of my previous pieces on this site, you also know I have a prison pen pal. I try to write to him as often as he does me because his sister believes that creating that kind of dialogue will help give him the perspective he most needs so he can keep his head on straight. Writing can build and destroy relationships, whether they are personal or public. One bad blog entry can cost you several readers. One really thoughtful piece can speak to people you’ve never met before and lead to new friendships. Whatever the result, the most important thing that happened is writing.

On October 20, 2011, many people will participate in the National Day on Writing, which was established by the National Council of Teachers of English. The website for the event suggests submitting a piece of writing into what they describe as “a digital archive of compositions accessible to all through a free, searchable website – a living archive of thousands of examples of writing from across the United States.” This thing sounds like its got a pulse.

Writing is so much more than what happens with pen and paper. Conception begins in your imagination and it manifests in blogs, poetry readings, videos, and even audio clips. It doesn’t matter how you choose to present whatever you’ve composed because it is rooted in the desire to create and share. Some of you probably listen to NPR and you love listening to This American Life and other storytelling radio shows. They are comforting, enlightening, insightful, and inspiring. Writing stories and sharing them unites our different cultures and helps us dip into the experiences of others in an effort to better understand who we are in this world.

Writing is cathartic. We blog, write in our private journals or send letters.

Writing is informative.  We love newspapers, well-researched articles and open letters.

Writing gives us our favorite television shows and movies, most of which are inspired by our favorite novels.

You may choose to submit a piece of writing to the NCTE website, but you can also do the little things. I’ve slipped cards into my coworker’s mail box to let him know he doesn’t suck. I do my best to have stamps in my purse so I can mail out a quick note to my closest friends because there’s something very special about taking a moment to sit and write out words to someone you care about. It’s a gesture that is like a hug in a mailbox.

Are you up for it?

Featured Image via DeviantArt