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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Everyone wants to party.

The most adorable thing:

emails on the weekend.

Now normally, getting work email on a Saturday night is not exciting.

But, this weekend is special.

Monday is Halloween.

And as I have mentioned before, we are having a party.

Not a Halloween party, a NaNoWriMo launch party.

My students don't care about that.

They care about the party part.

Attendance is conditional.

You can't attend, unless all the planning for your novel is complete.

Everyone wants to party.
Most students have been steadily making progress towards this goal.

They have completed detailed character profiles.

They have researched and described creative settings.

They have outlined the major plot line and identified the conflicts.

Many have struggled.

By design, I might add.

I want them to have so many ideas, details, and thoughts that they can write effortlessly.

And they can consult all those notes when they inevitably get stuck.

This is not easy work.

It requires intensely creative thinking.

It is rooted in a pretty sophisticated understanding of the literary elements.

It is time consuming and scary.

Imagination isn't the real challenge.

Having faith in the crazy emerging from your imagination and trusting you can mold it into a real story, that is just hard.

So a lot of students are not quite done with everything.

To attend the party, they have to get done by Monday.

Which means this weekend has been peppered with adorable emails.

"Ms. Hirsch, did I do everything now?"

"Ms. Hirsch, I just turned in my plot outline, did you get it?"

"Ms. Hirsch, I don't understand question 17 on the character profile, can you help me?"

And so forth and so on.

Maybe a party is extrinsic motivation.

Maybe that isn't ideal.

I don't care.

It is working.

For the kids who don't care about writing,

For the kids who are scared, or stuck, or disengaged from school,

For the kids who are terrified of being left out,

this is a little extra push towards success.

If I can get them to commit to writing November away, it is totally worth it.

The launch party is an attempt to do just that.

It might be weird, but I think those emails are adorable.

I think they are a good thing.

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