Friday, March 31, 2017

Slice 31 of 31-#sol17: My top ten reasons for taking the challenge

This is the 10th year that Two Writing Teachers has hosted the Slice of Life Challenge. Day 31 of this 31 day writing challenge!


Some of you may have participated whether by creating or watching the Flipgrid that Kathleen started. If you watched Brian Kissel's video, you will understand where I got my inspiration for the top ten benefits or reasons the Slice of Life Story Challenge is so important to me as both a writer and a teacher.

Here they are: my top-ten list for taking the SOLSC of 2017

10. I go to yoga more. I find that I draft inside my head during several of the poses, so I get myself to class more often in March. Therefore, I'm physically stronger than I was on March 1st. That feels good. 

9. When my daughter slices also (which she's done in 3 1/2 of my 5 years, I get a window into her daily life that is wider than the texts and pictures she shares. Some of you have gotten to know Larkin through her slicing--thank you to all who have encouraged her on her writing path. She's minoring in writing, and I know it has a lot to do with this community. 

8. I've made connections I can't imagine ever losing all over the country and even the world. I've met many slicers in person, and they are just as special face to face as they are when they are sharing their lives through writing and commenting and on mine. I've learned about other cultures and other places by reading the daily slices of contributors within our community.

7. During March, I feel more connected with the people I've met. I read what they are doing on a daily basis, and I picture them in their worlds with their families and friends.

6. I'm a better commenter. Some comments inspire me. Some comments do nothing for me. Some comments even leave me confused or defensive. (Those last types are VERY rare in this community.) I've learned that sometimes the best feedback is an emotional reaction. Writers want to know their work matters. 

5. I'm a better teacher. The commitment to slice every day is also a commitment to try out the work we ask students to do, and I pay close attention to how it feels inside my head and what it's demanding my brain to do.

4. I'm also a better teacher because of the amazing ideas other people share in this community. I have no doubt that some of the best educators in the world link into the commitment to write every day. Everyone is so generous with their idea and strategies that empower and inspire learners. 

3. I'm a better writer. I've studied other people's craft moves, and I've tried many techniques out in my own posts. Sometimes people's comments let me know they're working. Sometimes, I just have to know in my own head that my new techniques and strategies are developing. Also, we get better at anything by doing it, and during March, I write. A lot. 

2. I'm a braver person.  I've shared earlier in the year, as well as throughout the month, that my One Little Word for 2017 is brave. Writing still takes so much courage for me. There have been posts I've written where I've felt vulnerable because of the content or insecure because of the craft. The responses and reactions of this community encourage risk-taking. If courage is being brave and scared at the same time, it's a community where I've practiced that almost every day, and the rest of my life benefits well beyond just the writing part of me.

1. Writing makes me a better person. I spend March paying much more attention to life, whether it's in classrooms, relating to my daughters, or spending time outside watching the birds. Even though I spend a lot of time on writing and commenting in March, I slow down, as well. I know I've had realizations and reflections I would have otherwise missed, and those insights have mattered.  

Thank you to all who have grown alongside me--reacting, commenting, and sharing throughout the 31 days of March. I'll look forward to keeping up with you on Tuesdays.

All good things,


  1. Love your list. So many benefits. My favorites are "I'm a braver person" and "Writing makes me a better person." I love the insights that come when we spend more time slowing down and reflecting on our every day lives. Congrats on reaching this finish line!

  2. It is always such a fulfilling accomplishment to have felt stretched and stronger as a writer through the month. Your top ten is great not only because of your writing achievements but all the life achievements that get wrapped inside of the writing.

  3. There is a lot about being brave when it comes to writing. I find my best pieces are the ones where I have experienced the most fear. You are so correct though - this community encourages risk taking. Congratulations on a month of writing!

  4. Thank you -- I have learned so much from you this March and love connecting with you. I think you are very brave and I admire that you don't play it safe. I missed Larkin the second half-- I couldn't always find her among all the slicers. I hope she is doing well and continuing to enjoy herself. I look forward to connecting in person with you soon --until then... we have Tuesdays!!