How many of you ever sat down to pen a few words and found that you had much more than a few things to say about...whatever? That's what a few of my students have undertaken for the month of November. Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month and my personal goal is 50K words. (That's about 1700 words per day.) My students meet in the library computer lab a few days per week and we write...and write and write and write. Their goals are supposed to be reasonable, yet challenging. Most have goals between 5k and 20k, but two of my students have set 40k as reasonable and challenging. Rock on!
What I've noticed about this process is that it's hard. I've started and stopped more times than I can count and some of my ideas are nothing more than a few lines that are thoughts that I needed to write down for no other reason than to see them written. Beyond that--nothing.
Now, I have a number of students--a majority, actually--that are engaged in learning. Many participate in various extracurricular activities like chess club, drama, and art club. My writing club certainly isn't the most exciting and the students have to show up early. Not kinda, but very early----We open the doors to the computer lab in the library at 7:30 and school begins at 8:45. So, they're committed. Each has an idea for a story that brings them to the keyboard and causes fingers to move across keys and little clicking sounds to issue forth throughout the lab. If you were to walk in, you'd hear only this frenetic clicking and wonder what they were doing that was so serious and exciting. They're writing. They're writers. They don't have to be perfect or spell everything correctly (sorry, Jen). Editing comes in December. They're committed to this project and each student is owning their little part in it.