End of March, But Still Marching On

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.

 

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10 thoughts on “End of March, But Still Marching On

  1. What a gift to leave this challenge believing in your writing. I hope that belief stays with you as you continue the work of a writer “through all its highs and lows”. Great words from Don DeLillo, too, and I look forward to reading more of your slices.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t you feel as though you want to tell everyone you meet today about what you have accomplished? I’m glad you’ll be joining the Tuesday crew. I have to tell you that your photos and references to your writer’s notebook have inspired me to try keeping one again. Thanks for that!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I’m addicted to Always Going Home. I find such joy in reading not only what you write about, but take delight in how you structure your pieces and play around with words. “What we are reluctant to touch often seems the very fabric of our salvation.” This line that you shared today from “White Noise” is going to be on my mind…I’m about to copy it into my notebook.
    I look forward to reading more from you!
    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “What we are reluctant to touch often seems the very fabric of our salvation.” – I read White Noise 15 years ago and it is STILL on my mind. It can be applied to so many things in our lives. Currently, it’s writing, for me. I’ve wanted to be a writer, but I wasn’t willing to do the work of writing. The SOL challenge this month provided a way into the daily work that is needed to be a writer.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I am so pleased that you have taken the time to express yourself in writing. A short time ago, when you started playing the drums again, it was a reminder of how much you grew up enjoying music, art, and writing. You have always been creative, and now you are sharing with others. Thank you for doing that, Matthew. The past month of March has been a delight to see your creations every day. Continue on and enjoy what you can do, as we enjoy it also. Love, Mom.

    Liked by 1 person

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