I started the Slice of Life Challenge on March 2nd, rather than on March 1st. I’m a day late and a blog short. So, I’ll be blogging daily though April Fool’s Day to complete my March challenge, but even so, it’s one of the smartest things I’ve ever done.
I have learned so much about writing and blogging, and about the powerful motivation and support that a writing community can provide to writers. I plan on taking what I’ve learned this month and applying it to my classroom instruction. Hopefully, my students will have an opportunity to set up their own writing blogs and begin supporting each other very soon.
This daily writing thing really has me staying up late and waking up early almost every day. It’s like being in graduate school and teaching full time again. It’s tough to put life on hold and get away for an hour to write. The Slice of Life Challenge really puts the pressure on at times, I’m finding.
One night a week ago, my wife and I were out to dinner quite late with some friends we hadn’t seen in years. While I loved our time together and our conversation, the copy desk editor in the back of my head was also yelling, “OK…OK…let’s wrap this up, people…you’ve got a blog to post by midnight.”
We’re two-thirds of the way through a month of daily Slice of Life blog posts. Like signing up for a daily cardio boot camp class, the SOL Challenge is one of those things where after four or five days, the excitement and the newness wear off and the “What the heck have I gotten myself into?” thoughts start to flood in. Then the real work begins. But it is such good work.
Tonight, after thinking about the events of my day, and finding nothing much to write about, I was about to start playing around with a draft of a “Ten Things I’d Rather Be Doing Than Writing at 10PM” poem. But when I couldn’t really come up with anything much more than “sleeping” to put on the list, then I knew I was still going to be OK. I’ll make it through this challenge for the month of March. I intend to keep posting slices of life every Tuesday beyond that, too.
I’ve been searching for ideas to write about in my old writer’s notebooks at times over the past three weeks. I do find some excellent seeds for developing in there, but I also keep finding entries that say things like this one does from 9/24/2014:
I avoid writing all the time. I always think I need HUGE blocks of time to write something. There’s got to be a better way. I am sick and tired of not doing any creative writing. The last time I finished a writing piece must be 4 years ago. I have ideas for essays, poems, and other pieces, especially about stuff from my childhood. But I never prioritize writing in my schedule.
Thanks to everyone at Two Writing Teachers and the community of writers involved in this year’s Slice of Life Challenge, I am now prioritizing writing in my schedule. And I’m not writing about not writing in my notebooks anymore.