Do you consider yourself a writer? If the answer is no, look at the number of emails, homework assignments, social media posts or text messages you write each day. Whether we realize it or not, writing is a part of our lives — it’s what gives a voice to our thoughts and feelings, how we communicate and how we learn.
“Writing helps us make sense of the world, helps us record what matters to us, and because it reflects our thoughts and identities, it’s a wonderful tool of expression,” says rhetoric and composition MA student and Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) graduate assistant Priscila Santa Rosa. “It can help you organize your thoughts, can provide a safety net for shy people to tell the world everything they can’t speak out loud, and it can cross boundaries of time and space —reaching people from other countries and in the future or the past.”
To celebrate the importance of writing in our daily lives, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) designated Oct. 20 as National Day on Writing. According to the NCTE website, the day seeks 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.”
For UCF’s Department of Writing and Rhetoric, University Writing Center (UWC) and WAC programs, National Day on Writing is a perfect chance for students of all disciplines to experience the impact of writing. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., they are hosting Write Here, Write Now, Write On, an event featuring a series of pop-up writing stations in the Center for Writing Excellence (located in Trevor Colbourn Hall room 109) the Student Union, and the John C. Hitt Library.
Each station offers four writing opportunities for students to engage in, representing the range of ways writing can be used to reflect, think, enact political and social change and express gratitude to important people in our lives.
The “Write Your Truth” activity hosts portrait books from the Americans Who Tell the Truth Project, inviting students to identify truths and truth-tellers in their community. “Write Like a Hero” asks students to tell a story about an obstacle they have overcome in their personal journey. “Write for Change” offers an interactive display encouraging students to identify a civic issue and write to relevant legislative or community leaders advocating their position. Finally, “Write in Gratitude” provides students with the materials to write a thank you letter to someone who has made a positive impact in their life.
Santa Rosa encourages students of all majors to write something that matters to them on National Day on Writing. While writing in school is often full of complex theories and rules, Write Here, Write Now, Write On focuses on how writing can be personal or connect you to a community.
“I hope our event will give students a moment in their busy days when they can just stop and feel a part of the community or have some time to themselves,” says Santa Rosa, who helped coordinate the event. “Pausing to write a letter of thanks to a loved one can mean so much to them, listing the things that matter to you can help you keep going even when it’s hard, and narrating our lives can make us recognize how far we have come. All these things are incredible tools for individual mental health.”
Use #WhyIWrite to join the national conversation and share your writing on Twitter. @NCTE will be posting prompts, sharing resources and discussing writing throughout the day on Oct. 20.