Well, today’s the last day. And I don’t quite know how to begin the end.
I spent the morning reading beautiful, reflective pieces by fellow slicers, and am moved to try my hand at a similar format.
I’ve learned a lot about myself and my writing over the past month, and want to both share some ideas and some credit:
About 10 days into this challenge, Beth Moore took to the Two Writing Teachers blog and asked, “Are you writing stories, or band-aids?“
Since then, I’ve found great pleasure in turning mundane activities into short stories, with some sort of creative twist to it, inspired by fellow, favorite slicers:
- I’ve enjoyed trying out different formats inspired by Elisabeth
- Reading about food memories by Ben
- Discussing road rage, and seeing a caring teacher and dad, and hilarious storyteller in Daven
- Following the fiction writing process with Andrew
- Reflecting with Fran
- Traveling with Aggie
- And, of course, commiserating about how to fit in/time my slices with my colleague and fellow slicer, Katlyn!
Unlike the morning bird slicers out there, I found my preferred writing time to be as late as possible:
- If I wrote about school, I ended up writing at school, after the kids left, still in my pilfered, ready-for-the-trash chair I got at the end of Year 1 in my school.
- I sometimes came home and sliced right away.
- Mostly, I came home, relaxed, then found a good way to write away the day’s stress by finding one positive moment to slice about.
- I once shared my frustrations in slicing, which was actually a good way to get feedback on a bad situation.
- I have even sliced past 10pm, and somehow, miraculously, received a comment or two.
I have shared my writing with fellow slicers, with family, and with co-workers. In fact, I have followed other blogs on my WordPress Reader, check up on my writing communities so predictably that, at certain times of the day, my phone pops up a notification that suggests WORDPRESS READER?? How creepy is adaptive tech?!
I’ve noticed changes in my writing, too:
- Now, I can tell stories that have less to do with my emotions and more to do with characters and plot.
- I can choose between staying true to reality and cutting and pasting reality to make it a better story.
- I can use observations and word choice to show emotions, not rely on over-wordy, emotive simpering.
- I can utilize formats to show emotion, not just a stream-of-consciousness about my inner turmoil.
All in all, I am learning to use that elusive thing called “writers craft”.
And yet… I don’t want this journey to end. As I think about wrapping up this month, I think of the past and future writing opportunities I’ve had throughout my short 4-year teaching career:
- I think of past writing communities: The Greater Madison Writing Project nearly four summers ago (has it already been that long?!)
- I think of Sally and Cindy, whom I worked with last summer developing a new Reading 6 curriculum – it was these amazing bloggers who convinced my to take up this challenge!
- I think of using my writing in teaching – as a reading teacher, there is so much more I wish I could do but feel like I can’t step on the toes of the team’s English teacher. I hope for opportunities to write beside my students in the future.
- I think of my colleagues (the illustrious Mary and Tracey) who are slicing with their students!
- I think of how I taught Language Arts 9 my first year, and how I attempted to use prompts to get my students writing. How would slicing change that class’s writing persona?
- I think of posting on Tuesdays and my reservations to jump in: Once-a-week routines are hard for me to stick to. Maybe after spring break I can start?
To those of you who read and commented on my posts – It has been such a pleasure getting to know you and share writing over the past month! Let’s do it again next year!