Slice of Life Story Challenge, Day 1 #sol19

Today kicks off the challenge issued by the co-authors at Two Writing Teachers, a challenge that encourages teachers and other educators to live like a writer for the entire month of March. Despite dark clouds, I’m so excited!

Water tasted good.  As I lowered my glass, I thought about how I need to drink more water, I really do.  I also thought about today, the first day of the 2019 Slice of Life Story Challenge.  Today marks the beginning of the challenge issued by all the co-authors at Two Writing Teachers (, a challenge that supports and encourages teachers and other educators to live like a writer for the entire month of March. For 31 days straight, those who accept the challenge must post a small moment story, a “slice of life” story, on their blog, while also offering feedback to at least three other “Slicers.”

Looking out over my sink and through the window, I watched as more late February storm clouds rolled in.  Where do they come from? I wondered.  And also, where do the metaphorical, mental doom-and-gloom storm clouds originate?  I mean, I love writing.  Becoming a Two Writing Teachers co-author has been such a privilege and opportunity.

And yet, as March approaches, the clouds roll in.  I feel some sort of odd, unwelcome dread.

And the clouds talk.

They say stuff like, “Oh boy, now you’re gonna have to get up early,” and, “Sure hope you can think of something to write about for 31 days,” and, “Gosh, March is going to be awfully busy for you.”  And so forth.

Damned clouds.

Gazing out my window, I found myself wondering why humans– well, at least me– are wired up to dread things we actually love doing?

In that moment, I decided that I’m going to intentionally look forward to this March challenge.  Yes! I’m going to take five deep breaths each morning, choose three things for which I’m grateful, set an intention for the day… and write.

I looked down at my glass of water.  It was half full.  So I finished it.  Here’s to a wild and robust March Story Challenge…  I can’t wait!

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,

16 thoughts on “Slice of Life Story Challenge, Day 1 #sol19”

  1. Why do humans dread things we actually love doing? Wow! This is such a big question…..I too am a worrier. I really don’t know why. I was so worried all week…will I have enough to write about? Will I have time? Will this become stressful? But I love to write and, after all, I am the one who signed up for this challenge because I want to write more! Well….here we go….and it’s not really scary after all. Sometimes I just have to get started.

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  2. Very nice start! Also thank you, since you are the person I have to bug if I have a question 🙂 It´s interesting that the two entries I have read so far, mention water as an important part of their life. For me is the same. Besides coffee in the morning, water is really important for me, and I carry it everywhere, even to parties where they only serve alcohol or sodas since I don´t drink either. I use the hashtag #waterislife very often. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I love how you connected clouds to your view and what’s happening in your head. I really loved when you wondered why humans are wired to dread things we love doing. I think about that a lot but wondered if it was just me. Isn’t that what’s great about writing and sharing? Happy day one of SOL!

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  4. Lanny- I love this piece. I can echo that feeling of dread when approaching a new project. While excited for this challenge, I completed one with Jeff Goins last year and found it hard to write something new each day. Separately, I have found a glass of water to start the day has been fantastic. It has stemmed my need for coffee in the morning (I only have it on the weekends, haha). In the end, intention is my biggest takeaway. When we approach anything with intention ( and the attention to get it done), there will be success.

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  5. Yes, those clouds are rolling in, and they’re daunting. But if they’re gloomy or ominous, we perhaps bring that on ourselves. Stormy challenges, like good ol’ rumbly thunderstorms, are mesmerizing, awe-inspiring and invigorating. Let it rain, March.

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  6. You know, you are right! I kind of had a feeling of dread leading up to today, and after reading your thoughts, I am sitting here pondering. What is it that tapped into those cobwebs of fear within me? It’s the fear of forgetting. I am so afraid I will forget to slice a day or respond to others in a timely fashion. So, what did I do? Set a reminder in my phone for every day of March!

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  7. I recognized the truth of this right away. Love the imagery of the clouds – they convey that feeling of dread that can transform into anticipation with a change in perspective. Why is it that we pursue our passions with mixed feelings? Performance anxiety? Great post, Lanny!

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