Writing ‘Days’ in March
Sometimes it feels like there’s a day for everything, but you’d be surprised at how few of them are actually writing-related. With that in mind, I’ve braved the internet to find some of the more … interesting days. Some of them are inspiring, some of them are surreal, and some have some of the longest hashtags you’ve ever seen. (Bet their founders are glad the character limit was expanded.)
Cast your eye over the following and see if there’s anything that catches your interest.
World Book Day
One of the big daddies of the book world, World Book Day has now been running for 21 years and although it’s an event aimed at kids, there’s nothing to say you can’t celebrate it by curling up and reading a book yourself — or, even better, reading a book to a young family member or friend.
Dr Seuss Day
The 2nd March was Dr. Seuss’s birthday, hence it is now also Dr. Seuss Day … which makes it the ideal day to re-read some of his books and appreciate they’re just as fun for adults, as well as packed full of good advice cleverly disguised as kids’ stories. You could even try your hand at some rhymes. And remember:
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
What If Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day
Featuring one of the most colossal hashtags I’ve seen, it’s a day to contemplate the horrifying idea of Cats With Thumbs. (And dogs with thumbs, but let’s be honest, they’re probably much less dangerous.) While not exactly a writing event, there’s nothing to say you can’t use it as a launchpad for fresh ideas: anything from comic fantasy to existential horror.
Established in 2008 by the founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, National Grammar Day is a day to celebrate all things grammar. Which, really, is enough to strike terror into most writers midway through a story… Still, it can never hurt to brush up on grammar and Mignon Fogarty is a talented guide, so maybe celebrate the day by watching a few of her videos and editing a page or two.
Fun Facts About Names Day
This isn’t actually just one day, but a whole week of celebrating names under the umbrella of International Celebrate Your Name Week. This day in particular focuses on — unsurprisingly — sharing fun facts about names. Writers go to a lot of effort to choose the perfect name for their characters, so it’s the ideal time to share why you chose your character’s name, what it means and how it suits them.
Unique Names Day
Another day included in International Celebrate Your Name Week, this one celebrates unique names. There’s always that one character who insists on the absolutely perfect, never-to-be-duplicated name, just as there are parents who love to bless (or inflict) their children with the same.
The whole week is an interesting extravaganza of naming, so don’t forget to check it out.
A depressing and yet inevitable side to writing, National Proofreading Day was created by Judy Beaver in honour of her mother, Flo. Her social media shares tips for proofreading, and to celebrate the day you could sit down and work through a page or two of a first- or second-draft project and see if you can hunt down those pesky little errors that like to try to sneak past.
International Women’s Day
Another one of those Big Days, International Women’s Day celebrates the women in our lives — but we shouldn’t leave out the inspiring women in fiction as well. Fiction subtly helps shape the world, so share your favourite female authors so others can discover them, your most-loved characters and maybe set aside the time to write a woman who’s kick-ass in all her own ways, whether she’s battering vampires, buried in schoolwork or looking after her family.
Day of Awesomeness
The International Day of Awesomeness is, quite literally, a celebration of awesomeness. To quote their site,
People are awesome every day, frequently don’t realize it, and their feats of awesomeness are rarely recognized. We aim to fix that, with a special day to both perform and celebrate feats of awesomeness!
I might be biased in this, but I think writers of all styles and disciplines in Nottingham are awesome, so why should you hide your light under a bushel? Do something awesome and daring today, whether it’s debuting a new story or sharing a poem close to your heart, and remember: you and your work are awesome.
It’s hard work, all this writing. Juggling writing and work? Doubly hard! Celebrate today with some well-earned rest. Technically it’s an unofficial American event to help people adjust to life after Daylight Savings Time kicks in … but why should they get all the fun? Napping has proven health benefits; there’s even an ideal napping time.
Lips Appreciation Day
Although we don’t all write romance, our characters are prone to getting a little … frisky on occasion. Take this opportunity to share your favourite moments featuring your character’s mouths, whether it’s one distracted by another’s, or a sweet (or passionate!) kissing scene. And maybe give your partner (or pet) a kiss, just to appreciate that you can.
World Sleep Day
Missed out on Napping Day? Never fear! World Sleep Day is a day not just for grabbing a quick half an hour, but for trying to get yourself some good, healthy, quality sleep. The myth of the exhausted writer burning the midnight oil … but that’s a fantastic way to burn out. After all:
Next day effects of poor quality sleep include a negative impact on our attention span, memory recall and learning.
And who wants to both forget what they were writing yesterday and struggle to concentrate today?
International Read To Me Day
International Read To Me Day is aimed primarily at encouraging adults to read to children to boost literacy, but reading aloud carries benefits for the adults too. Take a moment to share a story with kids in your family or friends, or maybe record a story you’ve written and share it online for other kids who might not have an adult who can read to them.
World Storytelling Day
In a slightly more adult vein than the previous event, World Storytelling Day is a celebration of the art of oral storytelling that aims to gather people together to share stories. This year, although not obligatory, the theme is ‘Wise Fools‘ … so if you have like-minded friends, perhaps gather them together for drinks on the 20th and read your stories to one another. Whether your stories are on-theme or not, you’re bound to have fun.
World Poetry Day
World Poetry Day is one of several literary and cultural events run by the United Nations. In particular they aim for a return to the tradition of oral poetry readings, but … we’ve just had two day dedicated to that, so perhaps sitting down to pen a poem is just as much in the spirit of things and won’t send you running for the cough medicine. Even if you don’t usually write poetry, it can be fun to sit down and play with words. Who knows? You might just produce something you enjoy.
International Day of Forests
Another UN event, International Day of Forests is literally a celebration of all things forest-y. And considering one of the major things Nottingham is famous for, it’d be a crime not to celebrate it.
Again, not strictly a writing event: Earth Hour has been around since 2007 when it was a ‘lights out’ event started by WWF Australia that 2,000 businesses and 2.2 million individuals in Sydney participated in, but now it’s a global event designed to bring awareness to many natural issues. The event itself runs between 8–9 pm, and Earth Hour’s FAQ has tips on how to participate safely. You could take part by reading by candle-light (and see just how bad it was for readers and authors pre-gas and electricity!) or perhaps writing a spot of Ecofiction in honour of the event — with your laptop unplugged and your nonessential lights off, of course.
Tolkien Reading Day
Tolkien Reading Day has been running since 2003, created by The Tolkien Society to encourage people to set aside a little time to read Tolkien’s works. Which sounds like a good reason for a cosy evening curled up with a drink and an epic book.
Make Up Your Own Holiday Day
Considering how many events there are every day — this is just a fraction of them! — it’s no surprise there’s a day dedicated to making up more days. Which days would you celebrate if it was down to you? Or which days do your characters celebrate, from our world or theirs?