Sunday, March 30, 2014

Slice of Life - Encouraging Writers

Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers on Tuesdays.  For the month of March, I am participating in the March Challenge by posting a slice daily.

On Friday, Stacey Shubitz gave a shout out to the Support Team for the Slice of Life March Challenge. You can read it here

As a first time participant in the challenge, I want to say how much I have appreciated the Support Team as well as the other Slicers. I am pretty certain that if it wasn't for the support in the form of well-timed comments I might not have made it through to this far.  Initially, the encouragement to keep writing because it would get easier or keep a notebook for ideas was what I needed. I did keep writing even when it was difficult.  I also picked up a small notebook to jot down ideas. I will see something or encounter something and now think that I could write a slice of life post on that idea or experience.  I wasn't sure I would get to this point but those in the Support Team and the other Slice of Lifers did. 

Not only did I start keeping a notebook of ideas, I took some chances with my writing.  Writing things that are more personal is uncomfortable, but I tried and was supported by this amazing tribe of writers. I, also, tried some things that were hard.   Not only did I try one poem but two. It's still hard but I am glad I tried.

This month's journey has made me understand the need to write more regularly, like on a daily basis.  If I struggled to write, and I am a teacher and someone who must regularly communicate using written words, then what about my students who are far less comfortable with words? However, if daily writing and encouragement can change me, it can certainly change their writing.  Through this experience, I have come to think more about how we write with students and how we support and mentor them through the process of learning how to write.  It has taught me more about celebrating writing.

Everyone, no matter how young or old, has something to say and everyone must find their writing voice.  As writers, we learn that words can make a difference. Our words can inspire someone, or make someone laugh.  Our words help others experience emotions when we write in a way that they can feel the same sense of joy, or pain that we felt while writing our slice. Our words hold power.  Power that can build up or tear down.  We need to learn responsibility with our writing as well.

Writing can transform us and those that read what we wrote.  Maybe the transformation over the month has been subtle, but the ripple effect of those changes will be felt for a much longer time.

Though, I am not sure if I know everyone who is on the welcome committee that stopped by regularly (or even sporadically), but I do want to thank Tara Smith, and Melanie Meehan, and Linda Baie who commented daily or nearly daily.  Your presence and encouragement was felt. And for the other Slicers who stopped by and commented regularly your support was felt as well.  Thank you all for being so faithful and committed to this element of learning. I have learned so much from you and your writing as well.

Thank you dearest Slicers for welcoming me into your tribe and for giving so much of your self this month during the challenge.  I have been honored to be a part of a truly special group of people.