“Isn’t your month of writing starting soon?” my friend and colleague asked me a few weeks ago.
“Hey, your Slice of Life challenge is coming up, isn’t it?” a long-time friend asked during our recent Facetime chat.
Writing each day for the month of March isn’t just something I do, it’s part of who I am. As I embark upon my twelfth year of the Slice of Life challenge, I am giddy with excitement, my fingers itching to write again. Despite my best intentions, I don’t always make time to write. There’s always something else demanding my attention. But for the month of March, I write each day, regardless of the other stuff. I don’t have to write every day. I get to write every day.
The past few weeks, as March 1st crept closer, I have found myself bringing the challenge up in conversations, my excitement bubbling over.
Have you thought about getting into blogging? Well, let me tell you the perfect way to dip your toes into the world of blogging…you should join the Slice of Life challenge with me! It’s this group of writers and educators around the world who write a slice of their day for a whole month. Yes, a whole month. I know it seems daunting, but it’s not that hard. You can write about anything! Plus you get to be a part of this incredible, supportive group of writers. I have met many friends on this challenge that I love revisiting each year. No, I haven’t ever met them face to face, but I feel like I know them even more than some of my “real life” friends. When you read someone’s writing and inner thoughts, you get to know them on a different level. Coming back to the challenge each year is like a reunion. But I also make new friends each year, as I aim to read a couple of unfamiliar slices each day. Yeah, there are days when I don’t know what to write. Well, on days like that, I either write about how I don’t know what to write about (there’s almost always a slice about writer’s block once in the month) or I pull out one of my trusty formats, such as “Currently…”, “TBAs”, or “Hello there…”, and they help me get words on the page. What if I have a bad day? Well, we all have those, so I write through the bad days, too. It’s interesting to look back on those posts, usually angry poems, and wonder what on earth I could have been so upset about. That’s real life. What I love most about the challenge and what keeps me coming back year after year is the community. The support I receive from others who are not perfect writers either, the shared connections with people in similar situations (online teaching during a pandemic, anyone?), the inspiration I get from reading other slices…well, that’s priceless. And as I always say, the SOL challenge is a gift I give myself. Because of this challenge, I have documented 1/12 of my life each year for the past eleven years. And it’s not just the big stuff. The memories that would have been long forgotten after a couple of years are there forever. I love that. I always say that someday I’ll print out my slices and make them into a book for my nieces and nephew to read when they’re older so they can get to know me better.
So, fellow writers, as we start anew with the SOL challenge in 2022, I wish you well. I hope that you find the joy in the daily practice of writing. I hope you capture memories that may seem insignificant now. I hope that you find your people, just like I have, and you can visit them again year after year. I hope that you stretch yourself as a writer and try out new styles and genres (I was always afraid of poetry until the SOL challenge). But most of all, I hope you have fun carving out time to write each day. Let’s get started!