Today is the first day of the Slice of Life Challenge. I believe this is my seventh year to join the Slice of Life community for this wonderful event. I'm hoping I can manage to write for 31 days.
The Slice of Life Challenge is a commitment to 31 days of writing. Oh my! Each day writers in this community capture a little snippet of life - a slice - to write about. Writers link their posts to the blog: Two Writing Teachers. In addition to writing, each participant commits to commenting on at least three slices a day.
In past years, my students have joined me in the challenge which kept me writing every day. Last year was my first year without my students and, in addition, I had a new position in our district. Unfortunately, I only made it about fifteen days into that challenge. This year I'm excited to have several of my friends joining the challenge. I'm counting on them to keep me on my toes - or should I say on my fingertips - this year.
Before I begin 31 days of writing, I'm going to remind myself of some of the tricks I've learned in seven years of participation. I'm hoping these ideas help you too (and I'm hoping you might share a few of your own ideas in the comments).
- Write Every Day: Never miss a day. I learned in 2017 that once you miss one day, it's easier to miss another day...and another...and another.
- A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: A picture can inspire writing so take a picture of the little things you notice across the day.
- Take Five to Write: When an idea strikes grab it before it goes!!! Writing for five quick minutes when an idea hits can make the writing later in the day so much easier. (A quick voice recording can work too.)
- Collect Mentor Slices: Collect ideas from the community. When I read a post that inspires an idea or has an interesting structure, I pin it to my Slice of Life Pinterest board. When the writing gets tough, the tough go to a collection of mentor texts.
- Be Okay with Messy Writing: This one is the hardest for me. I take seriously making sure anything that goes out into the world is ready for an audience but, when you are writing for 31 days, some days the writing will just be messy. Sometimes you just have to push publish and move on.
- Keep a Few Tricks: After participating across years, I know there are days the writing just won't come easily or the day will be packed with calendar events. It's good to have a few tricks up your sleeve on these hard days. Try writing from a mentor text, six word stories, twenty five word stories, headlines from your day, a top ten list, and any other idea to just keep your fingers on the keyboard.
- Find a Friend: Having a friend or two or three or more that will join you in this challenge makes a bit difference.
- Read Every Day: It's easy to let the writing take over your extra time, but reading every day helps me to find inspiration.
- Make New Connections: I try to balance supporting people I know with discovering new connections.
- Trust the Process: I know there have been years where I really didn't think I'd make it through March. Having participated many times, I know one thing to be true: at the end of the month, there will be a few posts that I will be glad to have written. After writing for thirty-one days, there are a few pieces of writing that will bubble to the top of the collection.
Here's hoping I can make it this year. I look forward to learning from all of you!
Let's do this!