Wow, this is the last day of the challenge. Feeling a mixture of relief and sadness as I type this post, I think I have learned even more this year from the challenge.
- Write for me. There was a post in the middle of the month on which I received no comments. I was surprised by how it made me feel. I actually thought about not continuing. Why am I writing if no one responds? Aren’t we writing for an audience, just as we teach our students? Digging deeper, I realized that I should be writing for me, too. As I write, I learn, grow, think, experience again, and express myself. Comments are like icing on the cake. But the icing is nothing without the cake.
- Dig deep. On more than one occasion, I had to dig deep, but this time I’m referring to topics. This is my second year to participate in the SOL, and it seemed much more difficult to find something to write about. Several days during this month, I had nothing…I mean NOTHING. I spent much more time in silence, thinking about what to write. Obviously, I was successful, but it wasn’t easy! One of my friends and fellow slicer, Nellie, suggested planning ahead with ideas for slicing well before the month of March. In addition, she proposed using one day a week for a theme. I loved these ideas and hope to try them out next year. I would include silence…time for thinking about topics. When I was able to slow down to just sit and think, ideas eventually came to me.
- Be confident. This year, I enjoyed commenting so much more than last year. On my first challenge, commenting was something I simply checked off to complete the challenge more than anything else. On my second experience, I enjoyed the other authors more and truly felt the value of saying something about someone’s writing. After reading and responding, I feel that I KNOW more of the participants through their words. Through reading and commenting, I gained the confidence that comes from realizing that we are all just people living life. We are equals in this one endeavor, which lessened the insecurities of writing for an audience which includes many well-known names.
I am enriched from this experience, as I was a year ago. I am proud and humbled by being a part of a wonderful community of writers who teach, support, and include.