Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Challenge: Slice of Life 16 of 31

Thanks Stacey and Ruth:  Two Writing Teachers
#slice2013   16 of 31

As we cross the halfway point of the challenge I find myself considering how my purpose in this challenge has evolved. Last year I joined the Slice of Life Challenge to get into the habit of writing.  Surely after 31 days of making myself produce writing I'd have a writing habit.  I jumped into the event with some apprehension.  Would I be able to write every day?  Would I be able to produce pieces I was willing to throw out into the world with such a short period of time to work on them?  Would I have anything to say?

Yes, there were days when I felt the pull of panic begin to run through my body as I struggled to find something to write about, but I learned a few tricks for getting something down.  In a pinch I could write a list, collect some ideas, or dig back into time to find a story.  There were some days where it was hard to push the publish button, but I kept going.  I began to collect mentor texts of posts that seemed to provide inspiration in times of need.

As the challenge continued I found myself in awe of the writing taking place on the blogs of participants.  I found myself wanting to get home at the end of the day so I could read all of the stories.  There were stories about school, poems about the beauty of the world, snippets of childhood memories, and reflections on life.  As I moved from blog to blog I enjoyed the snapshots of small parts of everyone's lives.  There were blogs that kept to certain types of writing, blogs that tried a variety of ways to put words on the page, and there were blogs that followed a story with a new piece each day.

I was hooked.  Each day I added new blogs to my sidebar.  Before I knew it, I wasn't worried about the writing I was worried about the reading.  How could I get to all of the blogs and leave the thoughtful comments these writers deserved?

When it came time for the challenge this year, there was a moment or two where I wondered if once again I could allow myself to put out writing so raw and unfinished.  Though that was a concern, I knew it wouldn't keep me from participating.  My biggest worry this time was being able to keep up with the reading of the challenge.  Friends reminded me that as participants we would read what we can and not feel guilty about it.   I've made it my goal to read the three blogs under my post on Two Writing Teachers each day.  Then I rove through blogs on my sidebar.  My goal each day is to read three posts on blogs new to me and three posts on blogs I have visited before.

My books stare at me each evening as I grab my computer.  My Kindle wonders where I have been for the last few weeks.  Right now, I'm focused on listening to the conversation this challenge creates.  Thanks, Stacey and Ruth.  


  1. You have so perfectly described the 'ride' that is SOLC! I love reading others' slices and I look forward to reading new blogs and old favourites every day. I've also learned that commenting is an art in its own right. Sometimes it is very hard to push that 'publish' button, but I'm so glad you do, as I always enjoy my visits to your blog, Cathy.

  2. My Kindle is feeling lonely as well! But it has all been worth it! My students are also writing a blog. They take turns writing each day. I have had a lot f fun reading and commenting on the children's blogs as well. Happy writing to you!

  3. This is my first year taking part in the challenge and I am at times nervous, challenged, and exhilerated by the writing. I am completely caught up in the reading. I love the wide variety of posts and am collecting inspiration with every visit. I wish I could visit all the blogs, but have to remind myself to enjoy the ones I can and not feel guilty.

  4. Ha! Cathy I so could have written this post as well! We made it to the mid-way point and yesterday was the first day I sat staring at my blank computer screen desperate for a slice of life to share and after writing not wanting to hit publish, but I told myself my goal was to write. Not create a masterpiece, but write and that I did. So, click. Publish.

    And then the reading. Oh, I so want to take the time to read and respond and glean insights and ideas for writing -- but, I just can't read as many slices as I hope to and I've let the guilt go. I like your idea of reading 3 below you on the comments. I also set a goal of commenting on three new and three familiar slicers. Some days I get to more. :) My reading and tweeting are in a lull this month. Give and take and balance. We do what we can!

    I'm so glad that you are writing every day and participating. This is another side of you that I don't get to see on your other blog. Thanks for sharing your (our!) reflections! Happy writing and reading the rest of March!

  5. Yep - I'm more challenged to write and comment on as many as possible that the writing my own slice. Although some of my slices are not great - in my opinion - the majority I'm happy with. Trying to keep up with the rest of the slices sometimes feels like I'm treading water in a churning ocean. :) Love the conversations!

  6. Totally agree with almost everything in this post. I love, love, love reading people's slices. Love hearing people's stories, seeing all the different genre, and all the different approaches to the same topic. And like you, the rest of my reading life- novels, kids' books, etc.-- totally suffers during this time.

    I love the idea of reading the three slices below yours. This year, I am helping with the "Welcome Wagon," where about 15 people are assigned to new slicers and comment on their slices every day. I try to comment on a variety of slices, some, like yours that I have followed for years, and then some I randomly choose. Other than that, I'm not very systematic. Think I will try your idea for the rest of the month.

    The one line I totally disagree with is you producing raw or unfinished writing. Every time I read one of your poems, I think, "She did this in one day? Holy cow!" I'm thinking about trying to publish a poem every day in the month of April. Not sure, though, that I am that talented!

    Happy slicing! All downhill from here!

  7. I was not worried about the writing every day was the oh so public part that got me...and I am loving it! The connections I am making are wonderful and I can already feel myself becoming a better teacher as I learn so much about how to give good feedback to someone else's writing! Thanks again for inviting me in and for being there to rescue me when my head ducks under the water!

  8. I enjoyed your reflection, Cathy, had not even thought today that we are more than halfway through March. It's been a whirlwind of 'other things' for me, so I am enjoying this evening immensely reading as many blogs as possible. Thanks!

  9. Cath,
    Thanks for the Take Me Out to the Challenge you wrote on my post! It's adorable and spot on! I like that you have stepped out a plan for how many to visit each day and leave comments on too! Like you, I want to read them all. With a solid plan it should be easier. Thanks for the idea-raw and unfinished are two adjectives that I would not associate with your writing.EVER!
    Thanks for this post and I enjoy all that you write so much.


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