One of the coolest things that technology has enabled is the ability to communicate with our favorite authors. We’re able to blog, twitter, and email our favorite writers and often, we get responses. For bloggers, we sometimes even have the pleasure of having authors email or comment on our own posts — and let me tell you, waking up to an email from someone like Blake Nelson or a thoughtful commentary posted on Bill Konigsberg’s blog really makes your day.
What really excites me, though, is when these authors are so encouraging of talent. Back in April, Maureen Johnson hosted a “Blog Everyday April” (BEDA). During BEDA, Johnson encouraged her fans to really get into blogging by committing to blogging once per day. Not only did Johnson take the time to create this challenge, but she spent hours of her time creating “BEDA Buddies” to match participants up with other participants to help everyone make it through a month of blogging.
This month, Laurie Halse Anderson is encouraging everyone to write for 15 minutes a day for the month of August. To help those who have writers block, she’s also posting prompts every day, and she has been Twittering in earnst to support the budding writer spirit in those who talk about it but never quite find the time.
I bring this up on STACKED because it’s important to spotlight writers who have a bit of sway in the young adult world and use it to encourage creativity. Too often the value of tapping into the creative spirit is lost in the day to day world of teenagers (and adults!). These two are clearly not the only authors supporting this, but the ability to reach out through technology to motivate writing, blogging, and engagement is laudable. If I can be so bold, I believe that this sort of support is precisely part of why they remain highly influential and highly respected among young and old readers.
Are you taking part in Anderson’s challenge? For 15 minutes a day, I think it’s a great investment for the writer and non-writer alike! Encouraging literacy and involvement in literacy-raising endevors is precisely what the librarian does, and when others jump in — those who have more wide-reaching power than the librarian — it’s hard not to get excited about what the future holds in the drive and desire for creativity, literacy, and knowledge.