Thirty out of thirty one days in March I wrote a blog post and made it public. (I missed a day somewhere along the way because I was sick.) Today is the day to think about just what writing a slice of life each day has meant.
I know that writing every day makes writing every day just a bit easier. Early in the month it felt hard to come up with topics, each day felt like a stretch. And then, just like I tell my students, I started to live more like a writer. Each and every experience I have during the day becomes fodder for thinking and writing. I like that writing makes me pay more attention. I notice details, make word associations, connect seemingly disparate parts of my life as I write and reflect.
I know that photography helps me generate writing. It is yet another tool for paying attention to the world around me. With my camera around my neck, the world slows down allowing me to notice what I might otherwise overlook. When I go back later to view the images I captured, new thinking floods my brain, filling in the stories between the shots. I re-view the things I noticed that I wasn’t able to capture through my lens and I see my experiences anew.
I know that the Slice of Life Challenge community is a gift to me as a writer. As I posted my permalink each day, I knew someone would read and comment on my writing. This community is accepting and generous. Encouraging words keep a writer moving forward. As I read slices from others, I shared my thinking with them and learned from their words too. I posted because I said I would, and because I knew that a community was there to listen. That encouraged me to write, to revise, to push myself to continue to grow as a writer and as a responder.
And I love that writing each day creates a record of my thinking and my experiences. I can return to my thinking later, reconsider those thoughts in light of new insights and experiences. And as someone who tends to be an introvert, it invites others into my life in ways I don’t often make space for verbally or in casual in-person interactions.
March and my daily slices end today, but tomorrow I am taking on a new challenge. My students and I will be taking a 30 day poem-a-day challenge for National Poetry Month. So look for a poem from me…and if things go well, poems from some of my students as well, each day of April!