Slice of Life Challenge Day 22 #sol18

My March writing routine…


The alarm sounds on my iPhone.  It’s 5:30 a.m.  Not immediately, but a few minutes later, I quietly rise and make my way across the dark room.  Fumbling in the blackness, I locate socks, a sweatshirt.  Put them on.  Quietly now, although the old floorboards make sonic discreetness difficult, I tiptoe to the door.  Remember, don’t decide now, I remind myself.  Trust that ideas will surface.  Which is difficult since I’m such a planner.  Behind the door, cloaked in shadow, I am greeted by The Committee: two striped cats, purring.  Waiting for their breakfast.

All of us, members of The Committee and I, silently pad down the stairs to the first floor, where kibbles and a computer await.  I step carefully, avoiding a fur-laden misstep that could result in a face-first disaster.  At the bottom of the stairs now.  Around the corner we go, where two white ceramic dishes are ready to be filled.

With The Committee now engaged in their first round, I breathe. Across the room I head, where the laptop awaits.  Trust that ideas will surface, remind myself.  Everyday.  Time to write my slice of life.

What is your writing routine?


Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

11 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge Day 22 #sol18”

  1. I love how you give yourself reminders to not overplan and that the ideas will surface- it is so true and I’m definitely working on that! You describe your journey out of the bedroom and down the stairs so well I felt like I needed to whisper after reading your slice!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Writing slices daily, when one is a planner, is a challenge. I find myself thinking about what I’m going to write throughout the day, and when I sit down at the computer, I pick one of the ideas I’ve been muddling about, and I begin. I love that you have a “committee” to spur you on!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is funny how our routines are so unique, but get us all to the same place. This slice challenge has had me reflecting on my routine and I’ve realized I don’t have a routine! I write at different times every day. But I wonder if a routine is just what I need to keep going once this challenge is over. Thanks for the insight!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This year, I have given myself permission to be more of a pantser when slicing, and it’s been exciting and fun to see what happens each day. I’ve only had to write once about how I don’t have anything to write! I loved your slice here about your pre-writing routine. The details and description had me there every step of the way. I have my own assortment of feline companions who are a big part of my morning writing routine too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the suggestion for tomorrow’s slice. Your description was told in very vivid detail. I felt the darkness, was startled by the two cats, heard the squeaks as you walked down the stairs, felt the feel of the ceramic cat bowls, heard you breathe as you sat down to your computer. Sometimes we are lucky and divine inspiration shows up to guide us. Sometimes not!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like the description of the committee. Most days I write slices of an evening. My mind is less occupied by the day’s lesson plans, etc. I’m not good about bringing work home from school in my old age, but I can focus on writing in the evening. Two things that influenced this writing habit: Developing curriculum for a startup in Boston, and being part of the NEA Better Lesson Master Teacher Project a few years ago. For that project, all lessons had to be structured as narratives, and to keep up I had to write almost every night and all weekend.


  7. Wow, you are a super early slicer. How wonderful that you have a routine in place and the words know to arrive on time too. I always enjoy when people share their writing life. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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