Adieu – It’s Been a Slice

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.
Advertisements

20 thoughts on “Adieu – It’s Been a Slice

  1. My biggest question posed by you is, “Where do we from here?” I’m not sure I know the answer, but I know we we’re supposed to go somewhere! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Your writing has obviously inspired and encouraged many other writers, and I’m proud to call you a friend and fellow traveler! Can’t wait to read that 2nd book!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really can’t say anything different than what everyone else has so eloquently said. Your words inspire me, they encourage me, and they challenge me. Thank you for sharing them with me, and thank you for our side conversation about forgiveness. Those words mean more than you will ever know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leigh Anne, Thank you for inviting me into this challenge, and encouraging me that I could manage it. I honestly would have missed out if it wasn’t for your invitation and encouragement. I look forward to continuing to follow your journey, and learn from you along the way.

      Like

  3. Throughout this challenge, your blog has been one of my go-to places because your writing has inspired me and has been one of the sites that has provided so many incredible mentor texts for me. I’m already looking forward to your future posts:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “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 soak up your words! It is not just the way you craft your writing it is the depth behind what you say. They resonate and encourage. That is part of the special gift found in this community of writer’s! Not only is it a safe place to share our writing, it is a treasure trove of writing models to learn from and enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Greg, I most certainly will keep on reading, so may you still find the time to carve out a little slice of your life to share. I’ve enjoyed your posts before the slicing even began, but your writing hit an all-new level. You’ve inspired many and touched many. Oh, how I learned how powerful writing can be! And for this, I thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amy, your own writing was wonderful and delicious! I’m so grateful that you pursued it, and shared it! I look forward to following your continued writing, running, and rocking! Thanks for all your encouragement over the miles we have traveled so far. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your reflective questions and your summary of all that “we” did this month. It was my first time participating in the challenge and I really gained much more than I gave. Thanks for being a part of the journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for this. I love it. Love how it speaks to me. Love how it describes my journey.
    “We dared not only to publicize our poems, stories, and musings, but to try on the title of โ€œwriterโ€. It seemed ill-fitting at first, like a victorโ€™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.”

    These words matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jaana just quoted the quote I was going to quote! Ha! I just love what you wrote, of course. I love that this was a place to try new techniques and the image of some of them waiting on the side of the road to be looked at again is so lovely. Your writing has often stayed with me after I read it and I would return to read it again, and just marvel. And then, you were so generous with your words to me, on my writing, which was so exciting and validating for someone who never dared to call herself a “writer” (just a teacher who likes to write, thankyouverymuch). Now, for my students, and myself, I can say, “Yes I am a writer! Yes we are writers!” and REALLY mean it, not just say it because that is what I’m supposed to say. Now I feel it. Now I believe it. And you are such a part of that that. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m seriously crying by such encouragement. About 10 years ago I was thinking about what is the weakest area of my teaching? It was writing. I could follow the given prescriptions and teach narrative, persuasive, and expository. Kids would improve. But it was drudgery for us all, and I while I may have helped kids write better, I wasn’t making better writers. Because they weren’t writers. They wrote because they had to. Writing was a school thing.
      So I set out to change. Starting first with me. I read many books about writing (Ralph Fletcher, Barry Lane, and many others), but the one that stuck out most was Aimee Buckner’s “Notebook Know-How” about creating writing journals. It was filled with strategies that centered around student choice.
      I began writing daily with the kids, modeling, playing, and allowing writing to be creative and positive. Not only did kids improve, they began to see writing as a “life thing”, not a school thing. They became people who CHOSE to write, in and out of school, to find their voice, and share it.
      As I wrote with them, they began asking me to publish what I wrote. Internally I thought “how cute of them, but nobody outside of this classroom cares about my words.” And I felt like I would let them down if I gave in to that type of thinking. I would be a fraud.
      So I took their encrouragement, and I said “let’s do this”. “Why not me?”
      I wrote and wrote, taking some of my stories that they loved, and made a book. And the point isn’t that I did it, but that THEY INSPIRED me to! I inspired their writing, and their finding of their own voice, and in the process, they inspired me to share that voice.
      It is a reciprocal process that continues to play out to this day.
      (Not sure why I am being so wordy, but wanted you to know that I never saw myself as a writer either. Until I began writing, and sharing, and being affirmed.)

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s