This year, I wasn’t so worried.
Not like last year. Last year was my first year doing this challenge. Last year, I was worried. I wasn’t sure about the technology. Could I post a blog entry daily? Would I have a topic to write about every day? Would I have time to read and leave a comment? Would anyone give me a comment?
This year, I made 31 entries.
I gave at least three comments every day.
I did it!!
And I received 128 comments.
I wasn’t expecting how much the comments would mean to me – both getting them and giving them. The process involved in commenting is so powerful. When reading others’ slices, I noticed the craft moves made and thought about whether I could try this same craft move in my writing. I especially noticed what craft moves made me laugh or cry and then tried to write to elicit similar emotions. I would notice possible genres and structures of writing I could try. Without reading other slices, my slices would have been same old, same old. Probably all small moments.
But instead, I wrote:
3 informational pieces
and 10 small moments.
I spent lots of time revising and editing. This year I consciously tried to add hyperlinks and photos. I can now use the “LINK” button and photo button in blogspot! I can point to many places in my writing where the word choice and the structure and the elaboration are stronger than my writing from last March. A part of me feels surprised by this reflection. Yet, another part hears the saying “You get better at writing by writing.” Of course, you do!
I can’t thank the TwoWritingTeachers enough. Thank you for providing this space for a community of writers to gather. Thank you to all who left me comments. They gave me the energy to keep going. Thank you to my friends who did the challenge with me – Scott, Mary, Fran and Marilyn – I loved getting to know you all more through your stories and having your actually physical presence gave me energy to keep going. And know I can add Tara and Fran and Catherine to this list as I have met you too, though briefly! Finally, thank you to the 5th grade Janney students. So many of you wrote optional small moment stories and that also gave me energy to keep going.
Though I independently wrote and posted daily to the blog, I am so grateful that I could be together with so many SOL writers. As I celebrate today with my students – An Orange Party complete with the wearing of orange clothing and eating orange food – Scrabble Chees-its), I plan to show the scene from the movie The Wizard of Oz. That moment when Dorothy gets hit in her bedroom during the twister and then awakes, walks to the front door of her house and opens the door. Suddenly, the screen goes from black and white to vibrant techno-color! She begins to walk with Toto and says, “I’m not in Kansas anymore.” Being part of a writing community has this same feeling – during March, as I wrote daily, I was so many other places. Just as Dorothy, I was on an adventure that only writing my stories can lead!!