I teach two creative writing classes. Most of the beginner's writing books recommend that new writers develop the habit of writing by doing so for 15 minutes a day. I really didn't want this to feel like homework, a "must be creative or fail" situation because that kills creativity. Then I thought, since we are on the block schedule and each class is 87 minutes long, I could cut 15 minutes out of my teaching time and have them do a free write in class. And what is the best way to teach (all you parents out there know this one. No really, you do!) By example!
I can write for 15 minutes each "B day" with my class. But wait! I have two!!! I get to write for 30 minutes a day and get paid while doing it!!!
My student's think it's cool because I'm not just giving them crap to do and they like that it is casual - I don't give them writing prompts, tell them this time it must be - they just get to write. We have only done this twice now, but I'm loving it.
Laurie Halse Anderson usually does a write fifteen minutes a day for a month on her blog and this year, because of some tragedies in her life, she didn't do it until August. August is just a hard month for me, so I'm going to go back through all of her posts she did in August and do them in September.
This year I am also going to try to succeed at my 50,000 word goal during November for NaNoWriMo. I would love some buddies who want to give it a go as well...let me know if you are interested. It's lots of ridiculous and at times stressful fun, but a blast!!! And the best part - I've worked this into the curriculum, teach by example and will have almost three hours in classroom to write with my students this year. Granted, I don't have a story I want to pound out yet, but have no worries...I'm brainstorming.
I'm having so much fun combining these two loves! Now, if I can only figure out how to mesh some others...chocolate popcorn? Football and shopping? Reading and playing with my kids (which reminds me - I have four books I need to write reviews for...their coming I promise!) I guess some things are just so good they are better left alone :)