(This video is me, as I was writing this morning’s Slice of Life. I used a stopmotion capture, in time-lapse mode. My eyes move a lot! I guess it must be all that thinking! It would be funny to have the camera trained on my fingers one of these days. You’d see a lot of fixin’ and backspacin’ going on. – Kevin)
We’re into the 10th day of the Slice of Life challenge over at Two Writing Teachers, and the sheer number of teachers who are writing with Ruth and Stacey and others this year is … startling.
I have been participating in the Slice of Life for the past four or five years (It’s a blur), taking small moments from our days and writing about them in a reflective way. The first year, we had about eight to 10 regular writers. Each year, it got a little bigger as the challenge took hold. But this year, it has exploded (thanks in part to the influence and impact that Ruth and Stacey have brought to the table as teachers of writing and their book, Day by Day). On any given day, there are more than 100 posts by Slicers, and some days that number has pushed up beyond 150 posts.
That’s a whole lot of teachers writing, and blogging.
I’ve been trying to carve out time to read some of the posts and add comments, just as I have appreciated that many of my fellow Slicers come here, and read and add a few thoughts to my posts. There is a real sense of a connected writing community, and audience is never more real than this kind of writing challenge.
I do get the sense that the intimacy of a smaller community has gotten lost this year, I think. In other years, I would visit a handful of bloggers whom I knew through their writing, and I had some history with them. Their stories resonated because I knew a bit about the back-stories. We created a sort of history together over the month of March. Sometimes, those stories would unfold in different ways the following year, allowing us to notice patterns in our lives.
This year, it’s different.
There are just so many writers that I am meeting someone new just about every day. I am purposely trying to read slices from bloggers that I don’t quite know. Is that a good shift? In some ways, yes. The more we widen our circles, the more we get exposed to different thinking, different teaching strategies, different writing styles. That’s a good thing.
But I do feel more like a boat on the ocean this year, rather than a raft on a lake, you know? I wonder if Ruth and Stacey feel that way, too. In the past, they have worked hard to ensure that every blogger in Slice of Life received a comment. No dead space. No writing into a voic. Someone out there was reading and reacting. I can’t imagine they can pull that off this year. They would have to take a leave of absence from work and family to do all that reading and writing.
In the end, it is heartening for me to see so many teachers exploring with blogging, though, and a few are using Slice of Life as a writing activity in the classroom. My hope is that as teachers use digital tools for writing, they are reflecting on the possibilities for their students in the classrooms. I know, I am. You, too?
Peace (in the meta-slice),