Viewpoint: Celebrating writing day requires just a pen or keyboard

By Sara Tirrito
City Desk Editor

It can be easy to think you’re not a writer, especially if you cringe at any sort of writing assignment and have absolutely no desire to write that next great American novel that everyone’s always talking about. And even if you do believe you’re a writer, it can be easy to think you’re not a good one— between writer’s block and merciless editors, the talent can often feel elusive.

But with the third annual National Day on Writing coming up Thursday, we all have the chance to look at writing with a new perspective.

The National Day on Writing, created by the National Council of Teachers of English, isn’t just for teachers, although it does emphasize the importance of learning writing skills in the classroom.

It is a day for celebrating writing in every form, and its importance in all of our lives, the National Council of Teachers of English says on its website.

With the National Day on Writing, we’re invited to forget the technicalities we might often use to define a ‘writer’ and take special notice of the ways we all write each day.

Whether it’s through text messaging or posting a note to a friend’s Facebook wall tweeting your thoughts from the moment you wake up until you fall asleep or scribbling a note to your roommate as you rush out the door, we have endless opportunities to write each day— many of which we never really notice.

The National Day on Writing encourages people to take note of those opportunities and focus on how writing enriches their lives. You don’t have to be a poet or a novelist or any sort of professional to value writing. And that’s something we often seem to forget – the value of the written word isn’t contingent upon who wrote it or whether it’s published or not.

As one of my favorite writers, Anne Lamott, wrote in “Bird by Bird,” “Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do — the actual act of writing — turns out to be the best part. It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony.”

So for this one day, take time to think about how much you really write and how important writing is in your life. Celebrate writing by writing a quick note to a friend or by finally getting down that story you’ve been meaning to put in print. Or celebrate by finishing that 15-page research paper that’s due Friday.

It’s all writing, and it’s all important.

Sara Tirrito is a junior journalism news-editorial major from Texarkana and is the Lariat’s city desk editor.