We’re gearing up for NaNoWriMo in my class. And by that I mean I briefly told them that we’d be writing a novel next month and we need to prepare for it. During writing today, over half of my class was gone. Eh.

We did some free writing and are starting the habit of counting how many words the kids write during each 10 minute free write. I’m going to use these counts to help the kids set word count goals.

Here’s the thing. Another teacher and I also signed up for the adult version, AND I bought a new notebook just for NaNoWriMo this past weekend (it’s even from my out-of-state trip back home, where I stopped by my alma mater and bought a notebook from there so I’d be even more inspired). Of course, now it’s a super special notebook and that means I’m terrified to make any kind of mark whatsoever in it, much let get started on a novel.

And I’ve never written a novel before. How the heck will I lead my kids through this?

Ahh yes, the doubt has already set in. I’ve printed out some “how to write a novel” articles that I will share with my kids (and reread again and again by myself, for myself). I have two great teachers who are having their classes participate as well.

I did the Slice of Life challenge in March (at least, I think it was March). It was a start for me. Was it good writing? NO. I probably never want to go back and read any of that stuff again. But I tried something new- I put my words out there. Heck, I PUT WORDS DOWN SOMEWHERE. That’s more than I can say for most of my life.

So maybe I won’t get any writing down that I will want to share with anyone. Maybe I’ll get a few sentences I won’t mind sharing. Who knows? But I need to make myself do this. I feel like I have it in me to be a great writing teacher. I may never be a professional writer, I may never write so large audiences can read what I have to say, but I need to become a writer. I had a student show me last year how writing can help someone cope with something, feel better about something.

So here’s to thirty days and nights of literary abandon!! 


5 responses

  1. Good Luck Tara. I made it twice. I would recommend you use your computer though. It’s a lot of words to hand write in such a short amount of time. Keep us posted 🙂

    1. I’ve been thinking about just using my computer (just for me), but I can’t with my kids. We don’t have the resources for that unfortunately. I want to write with them, so this year it may just be an exercise in writing a good amount each day :/ Thanks for the thought!!

  2. Congrats on committing to NaNiWriMo! I bet you will have lots of writing in your new, spiffy notebook by month’s end! Try not to worry too much ( I should take my own advice) and enjoy writing!

  3. I tried to make it happen last year and we stalled out pretty fast with so many other things to accomplish in class. I am hesitating to try again. What grade level are you working with? I admire your commitment and want to watch your blog for news of your progress.

    1. Fifth grade. I’m hoping that with two others doing it with me, and my handful of kids who LOVE to write, I won’t be able to not do it! Of course, every time I plan something roadblocks pop up, so we’ll see how it goes. If nothing else, I’ve already had them writing more this week than we have so that’s one small success. 🙂

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