If you don’t usually spend a portion of your day blogging, journaling, creating stories – or otherwise putting words on paper (or screen) – then today is a great day to start. A couple weeks ago, the U.S. Senate declared Oct. 20, 2009, as the National Day on Writing. The official Resolution is quite long, but it’s worth it to give it a read. I was pleased to see the Senate embrace digital media in their document:

Whereas the National Day on Writing honors the use of the full range of media for composing, from traditional tools like print, audio, and video, to Web 2.0 tools like blogs, wikis, and podcasts

The National Day on Writing was established by the National Council of Teachers of English to “draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing we engage in, and to help writers from all walks of life recognize how important writing is to their lives.”

One of the best ways to get involved in the day’s festivities is to post to the National Gallery of Writing, a website where anybody can post writing that is “important to them. . . from letters to lists, memoirs to memos.” The Gallery was unveiled today, and it looks like there has already been wide participation. So far there are 21 records from the state of Tennessee alone.

How will you celebrate the National Day on Writing?

I’d like to give a shout out to my 11th grade English teacher for giving me a copy of William Zinsser’s On Writing Well. (“Look for the clutter in your writing and prune it ruthlessly… Simplify, simplify.”) And perhaps I’ll celebrate, also, by reading other people's great writing. I would love to dig into a novel I haven’t yet found the time to start (A Gate at the Stairs? Her Fearful Symmetry?).

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