Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Thirty-One Days!

Some people do the 21 day cleanse. Some people do a 30 day food challenge. I opt for a 31 day Slice of Life Story Challenge in March.  It's my fifth year participating in the annual SOLSC.  If you are reading this now, it isn't too late to join.  I started this adventure five years ago after my friend Lee Ann Spillane asked me to join her. I decided to do it because I created a blog in 2011 and only posted once. Two hundred fourteen posts later, I still find the writing valuable and work at my night job to help future teachers learn about the power of digital writing via blogging.  I have also survived doing a blogging challenge with my high school students.  It is a powerful way to learn more about yourself, your students, and develop writing fluency.  Here are my top five rules about surviving the month.

1.  If you are stuck, just make a listicle or any of those forms that you use with students such as a haiku, an A-to-Z list, a sonnet or a diamonte.  In fact, if you are writing with students, those drafts become perfect to use on you blog.  You can even do routine writing.  For example, I do the Sunday Seven, which is my way of reflecting on the week and what I have gratitude for.

2. Take photos, they become good content. Some digital communities hosts a Wordless Wednesday. I like to add an images to my posts that I gather from my week.

3. You will learn more than you ever thought you might about yourself.  I have learned that comments matter to me.  I didn't realize that until I participated in the SOLSC.  I have also learned that the later you post, the less comments you will get. I have also learned that it takes longer than the ten minutes that I typically allocate. It can take between 30-60 minutes for me.

4.  You can post every day even if you get it done, by 11:59.  On days that I struggle, I read other peoples' post first and comment and then write.  They inspire me.

5. It doesn't have to be perfect. Troy Hicks talks about blogs as a space for kids to draft and get feedback. If you spend time trying to write the perfect post, you won't get one down.  The key is to get it done.

Happy 31 days of writing!


  1. I so agree with you! Writing is a great way to know ourselves - that' what makes me excited about a new month. I like your idea of pictures for inspiration... Thank you and happy slicing!

  2. Happy first slice! Can you imagine how different we'd have grown up as teachers had we not started writing? I can't imagine us without the National Writing Project or National Board Certification (twice! together!) or this special Slice of Life month. Thanks for writing beside me. Let's learn lots this year!

  3. I'm excited for my first time doing the slice of life challenge! I did try a similar month-long blogging challenge in November, but it didn't emphasize the community and commenting aspect as much, which I am really looking forward to with all of you! My struggle this month will be getting posts up early...last time I was definitely in the 11:55PM or later category for the majority of my posts..... Happy posting :)


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