Welcome to SOLSC 2020! Day 1

Today, March 1st, 2020, I’m participating in Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Story Challenge.

Dear Reader,

I’m excited to see you!  You, reading this post right now . . . thank you.  I really am excited to see you.  Today marks the first day of the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Story Challenge 2020.  As I write this, I’m noticing a wide range of emotions bubbling up from inside me.  First, I sense pangs of trepidation– what if I can’t think of something to write about? What if no one reads my blog? Many of us likely experience such fears, yes? But across the years participating in this challenge, I’ve come to believe this:

Trust the Process.

Writers need a routine.  And that’s not just young writers; I happen to believe ALL writers need a routine.  The routine becomes a friend we can trust.  The routine grows to be one thing we can really rely on when things become difficult.  For me, the routine becomes my process.  Do I always produce great writing out of my routine?


But that’s not the point.  The point is to write.  The point is to be a contributing member of a community.  The point is to grow.

As I pause here, I am noticing something else . . . another emotion? Anticipation. Hmm, yes.  Which, well, feels like a shade of happiness.  The joy of writing slices, reading feedback, enjoying others’ writing, sharing feedback . . . I so look forward to all of these phenomenon knitting themselves together into a larger tapestry of community.

And so, Welcome!  Thanks again for being here.  I’m not sure what the days of March will hold. I suppose none of us do. But I’m reminded of a wonderful Shel Silverstein poem:

If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer. . .
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin,
Come in!
Come in!
- Shel Silverstein

from Where the Sidewalk Ends, copyright 1974


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, twowritingteachers.org.

12 thoughts on “Welcome to SOLSC 2020! Day 1”

  1. I just finished my first post and finally came around to gratitude, and then I found yours. Your anticipation and excitement is infectious. Thank you for your invitation “to grow”!


  2. Your words have been bouncing around my mind all week! Your post validates that it is okay to be nervous, worry about having ideas and writing the perfect post everyday. Thanks for reminding me I’m not alone! I look forward to writing along side you this month!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for calming me down. Your rational thoughts remind me of why and how I did do this in past March challenges. I too can’t wait for the inspiration and thoughts and ideas from other writers. We are weaving a tapestry of community.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been looking forward to it too! I have considered themes, considered a month of poetry, considered… so many possibilities. Then, I decided to just write. Some will land here; some will not.

    Thanks for your reassuring kick-off!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Writers need a routine. And that’s not just young writers; I happen to believe ALL writers need a routine. ”

    As I’ve researched what it means to be a “writer”, this is where I always come back: routine. This IS what all writers need to be successful, that time, place, and mindset every day, every Tuesday, or whatever it takes to get the job finished.

    Thank you for that reminder!

    Good luck, and happy Slicing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you, Lanny, for this inspiring opening slice. You are so right…we don´t know what this month will bring. But what becomes routine can be a comfort. I am excited to make writing an integral part of my day.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks Lanny for your continuous inspiration. Here I am in my second year of SOL March Challenge! I hope I can endure since I have very little time now that I am full time in an elementary school in the US. Reading your posts though, will give me superpowers!

    Liked by 1 person

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