Also known as the National Journalism Day, the National Day on Writing was created in 2009 to celebrate… you guessed it – writing! But why did it get its start and how can you celebrate this unusual Day? Keep reading to find out!
The Evolution of National Day on Writing
National Day on Writing is an annual event celebrated on October 20. It was created by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in 1998 to draw attention to the importance of writing, both as a skill and as an art form. The day is observed with a variety of events, such as writing workshops, readings, and discussions.
The history of National Day on Writing can be traced back to the early days of the NCTE. In 1927, the NCTE established the Commission on the Teaching of Composition, which was tasked with developing resources and programs to support teachers of writing. In 1979, the Commission published a report titled “Horizons,” which called for a renewed focus on writing education in the United States. The report led to the creation of National Day on Writing, which was first celebrated in 1998.
National Day on Writing has since become an important event for writers of all ages and skill levels. It is a time to celebrate the power of the written word and to reflect on the importance of writing in our lives.
What are the Benefits of Writing?
Did you know that there is more to writing than simply telling a story or getting your work done? The act of writing actually has a whole host of benefits. Some of those benefits include:
- Improving fine motor skills.
- Helping with cognitive development, especially in children.
- Aiding with reading comprehension.
- Improving memory and knowledge retention.
- Helping you with spelling and grammar.
- Working as a type of meditation.
- Increasing creativity.
How Can You Celebrate the National Day on Writing?
Whether you want to organize something in your workplace or you want to have a solo party for National Day on Writing, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Read a book.
- Yes! Reading is an excellent way to celebrate this holiday as reading actually improves your writing.
- You could even choose to pick a book that’s about writing, such as On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King.
- Write 500 words.
- Whether fiction or nonfiction, writing 500 words is an excellent way to get something on paper – and you likely will find once you get started, you’ll want to continue to write!
- Show a friend, loved one, or coworker your favorite poem or short story.
- Brainstorm ideas that you’ll want to write about.
- Write a poem.
- Edit someone else’s writing. For example, find a letter to the editor or a web article to edit.
- Write a letter, either handwritten or email!
- Start a dream journal.
- Set goals for reading and writing for the year ahead.
- How many books do you want to read? How many pages or words do you want to write?
- Play language games.
- Games such as spelling bees, word search apps, or Scrabble can strengthen your skills as a writer.
- Track how much you really write in a day, from Twitter to your workspace!
- Try writing something that is outside of your comfort zone.
- Do you normally write documents for work or compose posts for social media? Try your hand at a sonnet or a short story!
How Can You Improve Your Writing?
Even if you feel your writing is amazing, there are always ways to improve! Here are some tips and tricks you’ll want to take advantage of to take your documents to the next level:
- Use Grammarly on your browser to catch spelling and grammatical errors.
- Use Word tools to view readability statistics.
- Write every day.
- Don’t stop reading – even if you need to write.
- Always go back and edit your work.
- Read your work out loud to hear how it flows.
- Ask an editor to read your work.
- Actually sit down and write! So many struggle with just getting started, but if you just sit down and write anything, the words will come to you!
- Take a workshop in writing.
- Do you have a favorite author? Try to determine why they’re your favorite.
- Use outlines.
- Don’t be discouraged by first drafts – that’s what editing is for!
- Research where necessary, even if it’s fiction!
- Don’t always try to aim for “perfection” – it may be impossible or cause you to work on something well past its actual completion.
The National Day of Writing is an excellent day to set writing goals for yourself that you can carry throughout the entire year. Even if it’s not October 20, you should always be paying attention to your writing, grammar, tone, and, of course, reading! Whether you pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read on October 20 or you want to start writing that novel that’s been rattling in the back of your head, it’s the perfect time to get started and celebrate National Day on Writing!
Do you need an editor to look over your written works? Working with an experienced editor can help you tackle tone, flow, grammar, spelling, content, and more! Discover how Shea Writing and Training can help you and your organization take writing to the next level.