This morning in my two sections of feature writing on campus, I had students engage in an activity for writing DESCRIPTION. We tapped into our senses of smell, touch, and taste, and I had the students smell different items and try to describe the scents (one was from my garden, one was a spice, and two were candle scents); next, they had to touch something and describe that feeling (it was my daughter’s jar of slime, and they were pretty grossed out—it was awesome!); then, they had to take a bite of something and write about what it reminded them of by describing it through a story (it was a piece of a graham cracker). We turned the lights down low, listened to some relaxation music featuring waterfall sounds, and we wrote. I tried to get them in the frame of mind to enjoy writing, a task many of them do not enjoy. Then, they had to write about a personal experience focusing on description.
I love writing, but not everyone does.
I love writing, so I’m working on inspiring others to write, both inside the classroom and outside of it.
November 1 marks the beginning of National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. Famous, well-known published authors have started their novels during this time, and whether you can actually complete the designated 50,000-word novel in four weeks, or it simply prompts you to begin writing “that story” that’s been in your head for a while, I’m going to be right here with you encouraging you EVERY DAY OF THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER. That’s my promise. Whether it’s a quick word of encouragement or a post of my latest writing to show that I practice what I preach (and maybe even post excerpts from what I’m writing as a sequel to Inn Significant, my latest work), I am going to be that voice cheering you on and saying, “You CAN do it.”
Likewise, Stevenson University has been designated as a writing space for NaNoWriMo, and we are kicking it off on November 1 in the School of Business Library at 2 p.m. I’ll be giving a very short talk on writing and getting people inspired, and the Library has created a website with prompts to encourage writing. All are welcome.
I’m excited—truly, I am. After a short bout of writer’s exhaustion having produced three novels and one textbook in the last five years, I needed a short break. But now I am energized to get back at it. In other words, my writing mojo is BACK.
I hope you’ll join me for the wonderful journey we’re about to take. Getting your thoughts on paper is super therapeutic, and telling a story that’s been in your head for a long time might just be one of the best things you’ve done in a while.
I’m looking forward to NaNoWriMonth—and I hope you can create some space for yourself to write—even if it’s for only 15 or 20 minutes a day, to do what John Mayer suggests we do in his song, “Say”—
“Say what you need to say…say what you need to say.
Say what you need to say…say what you need to say.”
Let’s give it a whirl, shall we?