March has come to a close, and so, too, does the annual Slice of Life writing challenge. Once again, I went into the month thinking, I probably won’t write a slice every single day — maybe a few days here and there — and once again, I ended up writing 31 slices. (And that is the fifth year of doing it, so really, on my blog, there are more than 150 Slice of Life posts over time. Personal research project: go back and archive them all. Yeah. Right. Eh, maybe.)
I want to thank Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to facilitate and support writing among teachers and others. The Slice of Life this year just exploded with writers. Some days, the numbers were hovering around 150 writers sharing their posts. Much of that interest has to be attributed to the personal connections that Ruth and Stacey have created over the last few years, and the nurturing voice their blog sends forth to readers, and writers.
There’s a lesson to be learned from Slice of Life for anyone who has ever tried to nurture a writing space: create a space that values all writers, and all bloggers; find a way to build an audience; and people will write. This month proved that, beyond a doubt. (Although I still wonder about the gender gap with Slice of Life. On most days, as far as I could figure, there were maybe four to five male bloggers involved, and only three or four of us were regulars. Why is that? Is the Slice of Life narrative writing something that puts off my fellow men? Is Slice of Life, and Two Writing Teachers, perceived as a “girl” thing? I don’t think so, but the gap does vex me a bit.)
As I wrote early in the month, it became a losing battle for me to try to comment on most of the posts every day, try as I might. I sort of swam around the posts, surfing among the titles that folks left to see what might be interesting and trying my darnedest to read and interact with new bloggers. (Yes, just like books, the words in the titles of posts made a difference to me. I didn’t have time for everyone, so I honed in on the ones that seemed extra interesting). Unlike other years, I don’t feel I was to develop a rich, deep blogging relationship with a small core of new writers. Instead, I was like one of those thousand points of light in the night sky, joining others in creating a constellation of words and experiences (See what the Slice of Life does? It makes you wax poetic. And just in time for Bud the Teacher’s visual poetry blogging challenge for April.)
If you were one of the regular commentors here at my blog, I want to thank you so much for the time you spent with me. I was humbled by the conversations and honored that you would take the time to cast out a few lines and spark a conversation. I want to apologize if I left your comment dangling there, with no response. I was too busy commenting elsewhere (maybe even at your blog). Knowing you were out there, possibly wanting to read my words, inspired me as a writer this month. The Slice of Life makes you notice the world around you. It forces you to step back and wonder about the little moments. It provides a space to share.
If that isn’t all about the power of blogging, I don’t know what is.
Thanks for being on the journey with me this month, and I encourage you to keep writing with Two Writing Teachers as they continue their Slice of Life every single Tuesday at their site. The challenge may have come to a close, but the writing? It continues on.
Peace (and thanks),