National Writing Day www.nationalwritingday.org.uk is being celebrated on Wednesday 27th June. It aims to inspire people across the UK to discover the pleasure and power of writing.
It’s organised by First Story (www.firststory.org.uk), the national literacy charity led by Monica Parle. They’ve been working for 10 years to show that writing can transform lives, improving people’s ability to express themselves. Amongst other activities, they bring professional writers into schools to work with students and teachers and foster creativity and communication skills.
According to a recent report by the National Literacy Trust https://literacytrust.org.uk/about-us/impact-report/ fewer than 1 in 5 children write for non-school related reasons. Monica Parle says that society undervalues writing, underinvesting in it for decades, so it’s time to redress the imbalance. We write every day – filling in forms, writing emails or making lists – so why don’t we promote the importance of writing as a way of connecting us with ourselves, encouraging creativity and building confidence?
I’d go further still. We spend a lot of time gazing at screens, from TV to smartphone. But how much creative input does this require from us? Screen-gazing is mostly passive. It’s much more of an active adventure to sit and think of something to write about (it can be as simple as a diary entry) and then put pen to paper, creating something that’s entirely yours. When you go through this process, you’re engaging your thoughts and imagination, using words to express yourself in your own way. That’s incredibly fulfilling and you feel better for having done it – it’s actually cathartic. Whether you have ambitions to be a writer or just write for business or pleasure – you’ll add a dimension to your experience of life by finding a notebook, taking up a pen, and writing about whatever occurs to you! Do it often!