Today is the last day in March, and it’s the last day in the Slice of Life Challenge for 2016. I am going to post another writing piece tomorrow since I started a day late on March 2nd, but today is the big finish for most of this year’s slicers.
For two years, I ignored the emails I received from Two Writing Teachers. Two whole years. This winter, I told myself things would be different. As February wound down, I thought more and more about joining in and accepting the challenge to write every day in March. March 1st snuck by on me, though, and in a fit of frustration and creative energy on the morning of the 2nd, I created a blog and wrote my first post. And now, I’ve done it. Well, almost. I’ll finish my 31st consecutive day of writing on April Fool’s Day, instead of today. No foolin’.
This month has been remarkable. One of the things that proved to be a revelation for me was how motivating it is to know that there are readers out there, readers that are willing to provide support and feedback about my writing. To read the blogs of other slicers on a daily basis was just as motivating for me – there, I saw my models, and I learned from my mentors. In just four short weeks, I’ve gone from saying I was a writer, to believing that I am a writer. The daily habit of writing can do this to you. The daily support of other writers can do this to you.
I have dabbled as a writer for years. The writer’s notebooks I’ve kept in the past are evidence of that. I drew on the entries within them from time to time throughout this month of writing. My notebooks also serve as a type of commonplace book, which became popular in 17th century Europe. They’re essentially scrapbooks filled with knowledge of every kind, among them quotes and excerpts from the books I’ve read.
As I worked my way through the highs and lows of my month of daily writing, I thought about how I could summarize my experience and also thank family members, friends, and writers that have supported me with their comments and with their blogs. Don DeLillo’s books came to mind. I tracked down some excerpts I had copied down as I read White Noise, his novel from 1985. And I found some excerpts from Falling Man, his novel about 9/11 that I read in 2007.
Both excerpts speak to my experience with the SOL writing community this March:
But there were a thousand high times the members experienced, given a chance to encounter the crossing points of insight and memory that the act of writing allows.
They laughed loud and often.
They worked into themselves, finding narratives that rolled and tumbled, and how natural it seemed to do this, tell stories about themselves.
– from Falling Man
In the commonplace I find unexpected themes and intensities.
What we are reluctant to touch often seems the very fabric of our salvation.
– from White Noise
I am looking forward to writing and reading slices on Tuesdays throughout the rest of the year.