In November, my eighth grade students took on the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge. They wrote furiously every day for a month. I marveled to look across the classroom day after day and see students buried deep in thought or talking to a neighbor about a challenging story point.
As part of the effort, I told my students I would write every day with them. I was nervous about sharing my story ideas and rough drafts. But in fact, sharing my writing made us all brave.
Each morning, I arrived early and wrote in the calm before the school day storm. As the writing days added up, I found myself irritated if someone came into my room with a question while I was writing. My early morning writing space was vital.
Unfortunately, I let the joy of a morning routine fall by the wayside. I thought wistfully about the morning writing time but I did not make adjustments to restore the practice.
The March Slice of Life Challenge provides the same spark NaNoWriMo offered earlier in the year. I think about my posts walking the dogs, on my way to work, chatting with students and driving home. Oh, and my students are “slicing”! It is beautiful to see students select moments to share.
Bottom line: sharing my writing life with other teachers and students made me vulnerable. But, sharing my writing made me a part of a writing community.