Cheap Wine, Essays, and NaNoWriMo

Tonight I celebrate my looming Kickstarter campaign (if you can call a $150 goal a true “campaign”) with a bottle of discount moscato wine and a stack of English 101 essays to grade.  As you can tell by my typing this blog, my progress is, as usual, getting side tracked.

I thought I’d muse for a bit between bouts of commenting in dark green ink on my senior students’ work.  Yes, I use a green pen when I grade.  I’m not sure what really started that habit.  Perhaps it stems from my thinking that the color red scares students off.  I guess I care too much about my students’ psyches or something.

I’ve seen a lot of buzz around the ol’ intertubes about National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo for short.  I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo since I was a student at Northern Illinois University some eight years ago.  It seems that no matter how hard I try, I always seem to never make the goal.  Each year just gets worse and worse as that plague known as adulthood tightens its stranglehold on my free time.

While I’ll never complete that goal of 50K words, I’ll continue to attempt it.  More importantly, I’ll continue to push my students to craft their own work.  This is the seventh year that I’ll have sponsored NaNoWriMo at my high school, and each year I’m amazed at the amount of writing that my students can accomplish.  Sure, their writing may be full of grammatical mistakes, bad dialogue, and cliches, but the fact that there are people that age willing to create astounds me.

Most teenagers are too busy with sports, jobs, video games, or their cell phones to open up their minds to something truly creative.  I may never reach that 50,000 word goal, but pushing my students toward it makes my personal writing failure a massive coaching success.

Check out information about NaNoWriMo and their Young Writer’s Program at the following links:

And now, as usual, I leave you with a quote.
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” -Benjamin Franklin


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