Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Let's Write in November!

November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), National Life Writing Month, and Family Story Month. Why November? Well, I don't know why, or whether, one month is better than another for writing a 50,000 word novel (not a task I'm likely to undertake), but it may make sense for life stories.

According to Denis Ledoux, of the Soleil Lifestory Network, "November is a great time, with the holidays coming, to discover that the best gift you could possibly give is one that can't be bought. To share a few stories of your life with those who mean the most to you is a very special present." That's essentially the message of this blog.

I hope my little book Remembering Violet (see my October 22 post) will prove to be a good gift for all the family members and friends who contributed, and for a few others as well. Thanks to computers and on-line self-publishing (I used or local copy shops, there's still time to write down a few family memories, yours or a relative's, and distribute them as gifts.

Ledoux adds, "When you are writing your lifestory, it's not the Pulitzer Prize you're going for! We each store a unique treasure trove of valuable experience and insight in our memories. It's a loss for the whole community when that treasure is allowed to fade away."

Family Story Month is designed to let younger people, students, participate as well, perhaps by interviewing older family members about their lives.

Whatever your age and writing preferences, just write! If you can write that novel, short story, or poem, go ahead. But don't forget that Life Stories or Memoirs are also part of November's unofficial writing schedule. Just have fun!


Photo: "Where I Write," by Seniorwriter

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne


John Ward said...

Great article. Thanks for the post and the references. I've spent quite a bit of time thinking about this topic in my little cocoon. I'm happy to see some of my conclusions validated.

seniorwriter said...

Thank you for your kind words!

storyteller said...

Yes! Thanks for the suggestion and the resource links. I've long created and framed visual poetry to give friends and family members as gifts. I love the idea of capturing memories to pass along. As a result of your article, I've shared these resources with friends who are still in the classroom, encouraging them to get their students involved. I appreciate all you do to encourage the rest of us to write and publish!

seniorwriter said...

Thanks, Storyteller. I hadn't thought about the school angle earlier, perhaps because I never taught below the college level. However, it seems like a good idea. We seniors can write our own stories, but having a little help and family encouragement might be valuable for some. And of course it's important for young people to write, too.