Each day in March, I’m participating in the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. You can visit their site here. This is my slice for Day 31.
On the whole, this past month has been a bang, but perhaps it ends in a whimper. It seems like there should be a party to celebrate the mutual accomplishments. We dared greatly to find our voice, and to risk sharing it with the world.
Would anyone listen?
Would they get it?
Would they enjoy it, or roll their eyes?
Would we run out of ideas?
Would we run out of time to post?
How do we comment on what others have written?
How do we encourage?
How do we choose what to read, from among so many brave souls who dare to publish, day after day?
What did we learn about ourselves?
What did we learn about writing, and how did that change us as writing teachers?
What new risks did we take?
How did we grow?
What stories resonated with our audience?
What stories were the most difficult to unearth from our souls?
Where do we go from here?
How do we continue some of the collegial connections that have started?
As I look back, I’m honored that many listened, and enjoyed my playful musings. I tried various strategies. I took several risks. I dug deep into my heart, my past, my relationships, and my faith. I did this mostly for me, but also for you, because as a reader, I savor authenticity. I crave vulnerability. And I assume you do also.
But I also enjoy levity. Creativity. And whimsy. So I tried my hand at each of these. Some flopped. Others sailed. But the joy was in the process, not in the response.
Ideas may have stalled, taking respites on the side of the road, beckoning me to look further. But they never ran out. In fact, the more I traveled the slicing road, the more ideas I spotted along the way, or on the horizon, waiting to be developed.
And this was really a dual challenge. Sure the essence was writing, but reading and writing have an intimate courtship, holding hands along the way. I read hundreds of posts, literally, and marveled at the brilliance of my colleagues across the globe. Simple people, accepting a challenge, crossing a line in the sand, and summoning their voice, as well as the courage to shout it out to the world. Damn the consequences.
With this new habit forming, we began to see ourselves in a new light. We dared not only to publicize our poems, stories, and musings, but to try on the title of “writer”. It seemed ill-fitting at first, like a victor’s sash inadvertently distributed to a runner-up. But through the timely reassurance of our peers, we began to believe. We began to feel worthy, not because of the exceeding profoundness of our words, but because of the bravery to produce those words, and to share them, consistently, even if they were less than stellar. The victory was the journey, not the final podium.
So adieu, dear colleagues. Wear your sashes proudly. Your courage to slice has ignited many souls, and aroused numerous creative spirits. I’d love to see what directions your writing takes you in, so feel free to tag me on any future posts. I’ll savor them, and comment whenever possible. And I will continue to write, whether posting to my blog, or working on a second novel, hoping you will occasionally stop by and offer the wisdom and support you have graciously lavished on me.