How “I Love to Write Day” Got Started

John Riddle

By John Riddle

In the spring of 2002, I was driving from my home in Delaware to the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s conference in Asheville, North Carolina, where I was scheduled to speak.  My oldest daughter, Bonnie, was in the car with me; she was a college student at the time and interested in attending some of the workshops. Even though she was already a published writer, she knew the value of learning more about the craft of writing.

As I was passing through the Richmond area, I was thinking about a magazine interview I had to do the following week. Normally I am the one interviewing someone and then writing an article, but this time I was going to be the subject of the article. Writer’s Digest wanted to profile me, highlighting my success in writing for so many websites over the past few months.

When I worked in the fundraising field several years ago, I loved planning big special events. One time I tried to enter the Guinness Book of World Records by having the largest number of people dance the “Twist” in one location. I even got Chubby Checker to tape some public service announcements to promote the event. As a writer and an author, I knew I needed a website, and I came up with the name I Love To Write Day.  It wasn’t long before the idea of holding the “world’s largest party for writers” came about.

I told Bonnie to “remember this moment” because I “officially declared” November 15 to be I Love To Write Day, and I knew that I Love To Write Day would be a success.

However, never in my wildest dreams did I believe how successful it would become! About two weeks after the conference was over, I established the I Love To Write Day website and began distributing press releases to media outlets all across the United States. I also sent information to schools, bookstores, and libraries.

About ten days later I started receiving numerous media requests for interviews and more information about I Love To Write Day.

The response from schools was overwhelming. By the time November 15 rolled around, over 11,000 schools across the country had signed up to hold special I Love to Write Day events and activities. Bookstores, libraries, churches, community centers and even a few malls joined in the fun. When USA Today published an interview with me on the first I Love to Write Day, my phone didn’t stop ringing, and I lost track of how many e-mails I was receiving.

The Governors of nine states have officially proclaimed November 15 as I Love To Write Day in their states, and they urge their residents to find time to write to celebrate the day.

My goal for I Love To Write Day is simple: people of all ages should write something: a poem, a letter, an essay, parts of a novel—the possibilities are endless!

Hundreds of people e-mailed or wrote to me shortly after the first I Love To Write Day. They shared samples of what they had written and how they enjoyed writing. Unfortunately, many people have stopped writing, and the thought of putting words onto paper (or a computer screen) can seem daunting.

Spend time writing something today. You don’t need to set a goal of writing a novel (unless you have wanted to write one for a long time); just write something that is short and meaningful to you.

Writing can be fun but challenging. People should be challenged; writing allows them to express themselves. I am excited because more I Love To Write Day activities are being planned across the United States. For many people, these activities could launch a writing career.

I Love To Write Day might inspire the next John GrishamMary Higgins ClarkStephen King or Toni Morrison.

Please visit the official I Love To Write Day Website at and learn how you can join the fun. When people become stronger writers, they become better communicators. And everyone wins!

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