Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 31 - I did it, 2nd year in a row!!

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 poems
2 letters
5 memoirs
4 reviews
4 essays
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!!


Thank you Fran! I LOVE the roses!!!

21 comments:

  1. I agree about the comments! I didn't get as many this year as I would have liked to. Therefore, that is my goal for next year!! This year, I just wanted to make it through the 31 days!

    Congratulations on doing it for two years!!!

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    1. And you DID make it, too!! Congrats! See you next year as I will definitely be back again. I love this writing community.

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  2. I agree about the comments! I didn't get as many this year as I would have liked to. Therefore, that is my goal for next year!! This year, I just wanted to make it through the 31 days!

    Congratulations on doing it for two years!!!

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  3. Love this reflection!! I love how you categorized all your posts by style - I'm going to review mine and see which ones I wrote… Congrats on slicing every day - and for your classroom slicing, too - WOW! This is really impressive!! See you Tuesdays in the future, I hope?

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    1. I found it interesting to see where in terms of style the pen leads me. It usually avoids poetry so I was glad to see I stretched myself 3xs. Thanks for your kind words. And maybe I will try the Tuesday Challenge. I have a week to think about it!

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  4. I was all proud when I figured out how to use the "link" button, too! As a first-timer, it has been an incredible experience. I hope next year to be like you, looking back on how my writing has improved. Congratulations on finishing the challenge!

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    1. Congratulations!!!
      See you back here next year because if you are like me, you are hooked!
      What a great writing community.

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  5. Comments are magical in their power aren't they. So glad you had a great experience this year Sally. There's more to come :)
    Digital Bonnie

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    1. What a fun month!! I'm glad we are both bloggers!

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  7. I loved your comments and your connection to The Wizard of Oz and Dorothy walking into a world of color. Thank you!

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    1. During the party, I asked each class why I would choose THIS scene to share. The kids' and teachers' responses were so interesting:
      - Fran said that because she knew she would be writing, she was looking for stories everywhere each day and the world looked brighter and more colorful, like when Dorothy opened the door.
      - Scott said knowing her had to choose a story to write, felt like being in the twister with so many choices, like all that Dorothy saw out the window during the twister
      - a student said because we were on an adventure writing each day, like in the scene
      - another said that the things flying by the window were small moments
      - another very literal student said because the road in the scene is yellow and red and yellow and red make orange!

      Just had to share since we missed having you at the party!

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  8. First - what an amazing party for your ids - go, orange!
    Second - so glad to have met you, first here online and then in person. You tried so many ways to write - bravo. See you on Tuesdays!

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    1. I love how you simply state: "See you Tuesdays!" I think you know me now and you WILL see me on Tuesdays! I love being a part of this writing community and I can't wait until next March. I also am so glad we met and will continue to write together! Thanks for all you do. I get so much energy from reading your blog!

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  9. First - what an amazing party for your ids - go, orange!
    Second - so glad to have met you, first here online and then in person. You tried so many ways to write - bravo. See you on Tuesdays!

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  10. Every year, every Tuesday just continues to build those writing skills. So keep the skill sharp and write. Wow! Look at all the variety in your writing. That's the way to stretch! Congrats on year two!

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  11. Thanks for the kind words! And I will add Tuesdays all year long to my routine. After seeing my growth, how can I not!!

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  12. One of the strengths of this writing community is the new ideas that everyone shares freely! I have learned so much from other writers! Kudos to you for trying so many different formats in your posts! Shall we meet on Tuesdays in the future?

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  13. What a great idea to have an Orange Party to celebrate a month of slicing. And I love the Wizard of Oz analogy! That is exactly what it feels like to be on this adventure with this supportive, inspiring community. So happy we got to meet, even if only for a few minutes, last Saturday!

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