Thursday, March 1, 2018

Slice of Life: Tips for Slice of Life Survival 1 of 31

For the month of March, I'll be writing with the Slice of Life community.  Disclaimer:  I'll be writing every day so the writing will be raw and a bit messy most days.  Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for bringing this community together and for inspiring me to try to find the stories that surround me each day.  

Here we go.

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).

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.  
  5. 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.  
  6. 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.  
  7. Find a Friend:  Having a friend or two or three or more that will join you in this challenge makes a bit difference.  
  8. Read Every Day:  It's easy to let the writing take over your extra time, but reading every day helps me to find inspiration.  
  9. Make New Connections:  I try to balance supporting people I know with discovering new connections.  
  10. 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!


19 comments:

  1. Printed it and have it on my desk!! So happy to have you joining --look forward to connecting with you this month. Thanks for the tips --I think I might need them this month as I am over-committed for sure!!
    Clare

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    1. Clare,
      I don't know how you do it all, but I'm glad you're joining the challenge too. I look forward to stopping by your space.

      Cathy

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  2. So glad to see you back writing! I miss your voice when you're not writing. And I wish I had read your post before I wrote mine! I wrote about how I might not write every day this year, and then I read what you wrote in 2017! Yikes! Let's go!

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  3. What great advice! As an 8th year participant, I know all too well what happens when you skips a day. You just have to write. No matter what. Thanks for the reminders and good luck this year on the challenge!

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    1. "You just have to write. No matter what."

      Thanks, Aggie, I'm going to say that over and over again to myself.

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  4. Great advice, Cathy! Happy March and happy Slicing!

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  5. I am so glad you are participating in SOL. Sending a big THANK YOU for all the tips. They will come in very handy when the writing is hard.

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    1. We'll see how it goes. Here's hoping I can find 31 days of writing.

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  6. Great tips for oldsters and newbies! Glad you are back! :-)

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  7. Be okay with messy writing - that is my favorite trick from you. I feel like we might have talked about that. I did miss you last year when things didn't keep up - I'm cheering you on!

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    1. Let's hope. It's hard to be okay with messy, but I think I can do this. I was surprised to find that I had actually written fifteen posts last year. It felt like I quit on day two.

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  8. These are fantastic tips, Cathy! May I share them in an upcoming "Be Inspired"? If so, please email me (with the permalink) so I have your permission.

    THANKS!

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  9. Love the tips Cathy! Here we go!

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  10. Great tips and tricks! I love these reminders: "When the writing gets tough, the tough go to a collection of mentor texts." and "Be okay with messing writing." It's going to happen ... life to is too busy for perfection and there is nothing perfect about this life, so let the writing reflect! :) Anyways, as you know, I'm happy you are writing this month!

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    1. My grandma used to joke that we should sing loud and proud in church and give God back the voice he gave us. I couldn't carry a tune so I used to laugh about this all the time. Your point that nothing is perfect in this life, and writing should reflect that, speaks such truth.

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