How I Use It
I will, absolutely, set aside a month to write. I will give them guidelines, and resources, and we will simply write! Ultimately, they will be allowed to write anything they want to (our brains have a way of organizing details and characters and events into a story, if we can stay out of the way), but to begin with, we will have an assignment - some kind of real life experience that will be "hidden" under the guise of fiction.
Writers write! To simply practice writing "enough" (to a pre-set word goal), will create in students a feeling of success that will change their whole relationship with writing as well as assignments. They'll never be "afraid" of a page requirement again - AND - by writing to a count goal instead of for a pre-established rubric of quality, they'll actually produce great work! Giving students practice with writing and giving them "credit" or calling it successful simply because they accomplished this standard, will forever impact their relationship with writing and assignments.