I'm trying to decide how honest I should be with this slice.
Because slicing was really, really hard for me this year.
And I'm really, really glad it's over.
When I am slicing, or doing any kind of writing, I can do a much better job supporting my students as writers.
I slice, at least partly because it reminds of how hard writing can be.
This year, I remembered some really important lessons.
1. Writing is about community.
I have struggled this year to find my community, my people. I miss friends that didn't slice this year- Linda, Elsie, Tamara. I did connect with some old friends- Elisabeth, Ramona, Carol V., Kris., and that was nice, but overall, I found slicing a really lonely business this year. In my classroom, I think I do a pretty good job establishing a large classroom community, and I often have kids meet with partners to share writing, but I wonder whether I need to establish smaller writing groups that meet regularly, where kids talk to the same kids about their writing over a lengthier period of time. Writers need community.
2. Writing is easier when you are doing it regularly.
I sliced in March, then wrote poetry in April, and haven't written much, except for an occasional piece for school since then. Writing slices was hard at the beginning of the month, because I hadn't written much. I need to figure out a more regular routine for my writing. And I need to make sure my students are writing, and writing with choice, not just literary analysis essays
2. People want an audience for their writing. Writers want feedback.
I have struggled, this year, with the scarcity of feedback and the lack of comments on my slices. Over the course of the month, I had 90 comments total. About twenty of those comments were from friends who read my blog, and have read my blog for years, but don't actually slice themselves. That means, on an average day, I was only getting two or three comments. I was leaving comments on at least ten blogs a day and usually more than that. Some days I left as many as twenty or thirty. If someone left me a comment, I pretty much always commented back to them, if I could find their blog. I'm a teacher, and I know how hard this year has been, but even so, if you are going to make time to slice, it's also important to make time to comment.
Slicing was hard this year. I'm not sure I will do it again...