Tuesday, February 24, 2015

{#sol15} 10 Tips for the Challenge

Slice of Life hosted at the
Join in and share a slice of your life.


Last Saturday morning, I didn't need to wake up early.  I wanted to go back to sleep.  But instead my brain was awake and thinking.  Creating this list.  Writing this post.  

Many of us are embarking on an adventure - the Slice of Life Story Challenge.  Writing, sharing, and commenting for thirty-one days in March. Want to learn more about the SOLSC?  Check out Stacey's post {HERE} about the challenge hosted by the "Fab Six" over at the Two Writing Teachers' blog.  

I hope you find these tips for the challenge helpful whether you are a first-time slicer (cue confetti!) or a year five slicer like me.



1. Before the challenge begins ... set up all 31 blank blog posts, one for each day of the challenge and save!  I include the number day (i.e. 1/31, 2/31, 3/31, 31/31, etc.) and include the #sol15 hashtag in the title (for my "If This Then That" recipe connected to Twitter).  I also copy and paste onto each blog post the official "Slice of Life" logo.  This will save you so much time during the challenge that you can focus on just writing and commenting.


2.  Introduce yourself on day one of the challenge.  Tell us who you are and what you love.  Make connections that first day!  It's also a great day to invite a friend to join in on the writing fun!  (Chris!  Lynn?  Terje, it's 'just for a month'!  Karen, you started a blog and all?!?  Or even ask your mom to join my mom!)

3.  Do not stress about what to write about.  Our ordinary lives are filled with stories!  Keep your eyes and ears open ... and the stories will whisper to be shared.  Trust me on this one.  It's amazing how your story radar beeps all day long with slices of possibility.

4.  Throughout the day, you will notice those slices ... Carry a notebook (or your phone) with you at all times!  Jot down a couple words to remind yourself later of the possibilities.  Otherwise the stories may be lost ...

5.  Remember to share a"slice" -- a sliver, a taste, even just a nibble.  You are encouraged to write for thirty-one days (and you WILL!), but don't feel that every slice needs to be a lengthy post, novel or a final draft masterpiece!  Break longer stories into parts -- enticing readers to come back for more the next day and the next day!

6.  Shorter slices allow me (and other slicers) the opportunity to read more slices and leave more comments.  Read. Comment. Repeat. Sometimes if I see a slice is too long ... I click the back button quickly.  I usually end up feeling guilty, and I return to read and comment.  I love reading my "old favorite" year five slicers and also new slicers joining in.  I also usually try to return the favor.  When someone leaves a comment on my blog, I try and reciprocate and leave a comment on their blog, if I can find it.  I can read more slices when the slices are just that -- a slice of life!

7.  Comments matter!  Comments encourage us to keep writing.  Comments are the foundation of this writing community.  Comments connect us.  If you take the time to read a slice (with or without guilt, see #6), leave a comment ... even if it's as simple as "Thanks for sharing" or "Keep writing!"  Comments don't have to be wordy.  But write something -- especially for a fellow slicer who may not have many comments.

8.  There will be days where you may feel stuck or in a writing rut or -- Smack! Hit the writer's block.  Push through ... just write.  Just open up that laptop and write.  It is inevitable that every year I write a blog post about not knowing what to write about -- and a slice emerges and everyone can connect with that post!

9.  Play with your words.  Use a mentor text.  It could be a book that you emulate or even better, use another slicer's idea or format.  I created a "Slice of Life Story Challenge" Pinterest board to pin favorite slices and ideas to refer back to when I'm looking for some inspiration.

10.  Write a poem.  Create a list.  Try something new! Look for more writing inspiration  and journal ideas on this Pinterest page.  And if you have no idea what to do?!?  Have a solid back up plan!  I found this format  and it's my go-to when I just don't have any other ideas!


And a bonus tip ...

11.  Enjoy the process!  Reflect on the process too.  The process of writing daily is energizing and exhausting.  Yet, writing every day forms a newfound writing habit.  You will want to write more and more and more.  Enjoy.  This.  Challenge.


A BIG thank you to the Two Writing Teachers Team 
for hosting the Slice of Life Story Challenge!


HaPpy WrItiNg!

I know.  I've been there. 
 I can't wait to meet you in your stories!

Image found on etsy: Kathy R. Jeffords

24 comments:

  1. These are AWESOME tips, Michelle! I can't wait to share them!

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  2. Such wonderful tips. I know I used some of your slices for back-up plans and/or inspiration. Thanks for sharing and let the writing begin!

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  3. Well said my friend and great advice. I can not believe it is almost March!

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  4. Great tips Michelle! I'm trying to get some of my colleagues to join in!

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  5. With the first two weeks of Feb. being out of pocket, I totally forgot what the date is. Can't believe that next week begins the SOL and that it will be year four for me! Amazing how our words can create such stories. Thanks for the tips and reminder. Love ya, Mom

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  6. This is fabulous, Michelle - so helpful to newbies and vets alike!

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  7. Oh my goodness I LOVE this! I am going to share with teachers and students alike. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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  8. As a first time March Challenge slicer, you bet I'll put these tips to good use. THANK YOU, Michelle.

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  9. What a great list for slicers, both new and experienced! Let the preparations begin!

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  10. No wonder you couldn't sleep, what great thoughts to share! I have never thought about setting up the days ahead. I will have to give that a try. Wow! I can't believe we've been at this for five years.

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  11. This is spectacular for so many reasons. I love when people give me the idea for how to set up a simpler life. I am going to sign off from this comment and set up my blog posts. Thank you so much. I plan to follow you all the way through.

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  12. I'm off to do #1. Why didn't I do this other years???

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  13. Amazing help! Thank you! I'll be starting my second year, and I cannot wait!

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  14. Always a sage writer... love this post. Yes, I'm in and I hope to keep the slices (cue the confetti) positive and light. :) :)

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  15. Great suggestions - I love the predating the posts idea. Why didn't I think of that? is what I thought!

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  16. Thanks for the tips! Your blog has been an inspiration and a mentor text many times! :)

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  17. I am still on the fence about doing the challenge, but you have some fantastic and helpful tips here. Thanks!

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  18. These are really helpful, good ideas. I was thinking about what I do that makes me successful, and I think that every year I have picked a specific time of day to complete my writing. Now, I get up at 5:30 and do it first, even before Facebook (gasp!). Other years it has been directly after school, or on my lunch break...whatever works at that exact point in my life.

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  19. Great ideas! It is year three for me and so excited. I like the idea of pre-setting the days and the use of the hashtag. Thanks this was perfect.

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  20. Thank you all for stopping by & sharing your thoughts! Looking forward to a writing adventure!

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  21. Thank you for the tips! I'm excited to start this journey.

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  22. Thanks for the pointers for SOLC. I will also be setting up my posts ahead. I may even be able to write them on my phone. I've never been confident enough to do that yet.

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  23. Wow, so helpful! Thank you for posting these tips!

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.