Saturday, March 31, 2018

Slice of Life 2018- 31 of 31

For the month of March, I am participating in the Eleventh Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. That means that I am writing every day for the month of March in the good company of the Two Writing Teachers community. 

“You will have a story in there. . . or a character, a place, a poem, a moment in time. When you find it, you will write it. Word after word after word after word.” 
― Patricia MacLachlanWord After Word After Word

How amazing is this line? More than anything else, more than any of the other writing I do-- and I do a lot-- the March SOLSC gets me to live these words from Patricia MacLachlan.

At the beginning of the month, I wrote about the slicing community feeling like coffee shop customers in that we all develop our posting habits in the same way people show up for coffee on their way to their daily life. I stayed consistent with my morning posts for just about the entire month, and every morning I commented on the three to five bloggers who posted before me. There were other people I commented on as well throughout the day, but it was fun to have my virtual coffee shop of bloggers to get there morning greeting. I'll miss them. I'll look forward to next year.

Last year, I wrote my top ten reasons for taking this challenge. This year, I am going to try to write my top ten take-aways:

  1. The law of magnetism works even in communities like this. I relate and react to people with similar posting habits and writing styles. I need to do a better job fighting this law of magnetism. 
  2. Less is frequently more. Kevin's six word stories were super powerful, and I can't say I read every word of some of the longer posts. (I apologize for the length of this one, and if you skipped the top to get to the list, I completely understand.)
  3. Everyone loves a list. They're easier to read, and they provide information to brains in more consumable chunks. Note to self. 
  4. The third quarter is tough for me in all I do. My attention wanes midway through, and I need the end to be in sight to regain my energy. School years, games, projects, SOLSC's...
  5. I love watching people experience this for the first time, which is something that's also true in other arenas. (Peg and Georgia, that one's especially for you.)
  6. When we write about positive experiences or we share with humor and insight, we get positive responses and usually feel positive energy. 
  7. People read fast and frequently miss key details, and this shows up within the content of a comment. I have to think about this. We live in a fast-paced world. Do we as writers work to make our writing less subtle, less clever? I think not. I think we smile to ourselves and think, yep, they missed that one. 
  8. I don't need structures or sentence stems in order to come up with slices (funny that I'm writing this within the structure of a top ten list) but I do need the element of time. Time to pause, to reflect, to decide, to write. And sometimes it's the first three that take more time than the writing itself. An important takeaway for teaching...
  9. It's really, really hard for me to write multiple projects. My work on my novel suffered this month, and my professional writing went down. However, I know when I return to them, I will be better at them because of this, as long as I keep my writing pattern. I will keep my writing pattern. (You read it here, and you are invited to ask me about it in a couple weeks/months...)
  10. See #2--here's a 6-worder: That's all for now. Write on.
I'm a better person because of this community and the writing I do within it. Thank you to all who are a part of it. 


  1. Number 7 is definitely something to ponder... thank you for the reminder to slow down and receive the message the writer is sending you. :)

  2. I find that managing time is the hardest part as well--something else had to give in the morning to have time to write. It's worth doing, though; the benefits outweigh the hassles. You've made some great points that will guide me as I re-read my posts and reflect on what I've learned; thank you!

  3. Wonderful take aways and so true on so many levels. I think it's interesting to consider how the writing changes over time, how other things take a backseat, but then they come back... and it's all good! Well done!

  4. I tried to read this carefully, because I've noticed the things you wrote in number 7, but I totally understand. My entries were often too long for someone who was struggling to get 3-5 comments in (as I was sometimes). Your number 9 "way" resonated with me. I felt the tug as other things got neglected this month, mostly in my classroom, but I'm trying to look for the benefits, and I'm finding them. Thanks for all of your time on this challenge.
    - @humbleswede

  5. I, too, am struck by number 7. And I, too am guilty of not reading some longer posts. Thanks for this opportunity to reflect and now I can challenge myself for next time.

  6. #8 resonated with me especially, Melanie. Last year was my first SOLC. During my February Vacation I set up my new blog and began drafting mini stems for slicing during March. This really helped. But this year, one year into slicing regularly, I just went with whatever came to me each day. I have to remove my Slice Planner badge! Funny how things change in just one year. See you Tuesday!

  7. Lots to think about here - I, too, started to love lists. And I definitely write too long - I know some people skip my posts for that reason. Ah, well... find your audience, right?

  8. Very interesting thoughts about the law of magnetism. I need to fight this more next year too and leave comments for the posts that I feel more like clicking off of. I laughed at number 7. That definitely happened to me a couple of times this month as a writer and probably many times as a reader.

  9. I appreciate the thoughtfulness in your list and recognized myself. Lots to think of here as a teacher AND writer. Growing as a writer requires this thoughtfulness and reflection you've espoused here. Thank you.

  10. I love your last line. I am also a better writer AND a better person because of this community. See you on Tuesday.

  11. Much food for thought here.
    First, thank you for your part in making this challenge happen! I know it is a lot of work for the organizers. We appreciate that this forum exists. I hope you are getting a lot of that love today :)
    Regarding your #7- I agree. Sometimes I was disappointed in a comment that revealed a very superficial reading. I love the few comments I have gotten over the 4 years that started- "I had to read your piece twice" or "I slowed down to read your piece." I tried to be that reader to others.
    And I admit- the motivation to write shorter was helpful to me, I think! Editing is key...

  12. Thank you -- I will miss our daily connections. Keep writing - you have meaningful projects on the horizon. Follow your heart - I can't wait to see where it leads us. Write on.

  13. Your reflection on your take aways is powerful. It's something I'm still working on and processing. Thank you for your thoughtfulness! Loved the list!

  14. I really love this post. You nailed so many important things...and what a quote you began with! Love it!

  15. I love your list Melanie. It's giving me rich food for thought.
    I agree that I don't need anything to get me writing.. I don't know what I'll get out. That's the excitement... and yes, it's so important to commit to reading a slice and reflecting the essence of what's there in your comment...
    It's been such a pleasure writing along with you for another year.

  16. Your take away a make me think about mine. The less is more for sure. The commenting on different styles I’m working on along with the timing of my comments. I gave up some things but this year I developed a pretty good writing rhythm. That worked except for two really long days. Thanks for your help and encouragement.

  17. What a great list, and you are so right. I especially agree with #6... positivity is so important. And yes, I’ve noticed #7 myself...I really need to remind myself sometimes to not be so long-winded. :-) ~JudyK