The End of a Blogging Challenge
Today marks the end of the Slice of Life Challenge for this year. As a “Slicer” back for my second year, I knew I could meet the challenge of writing, reflecting, and reacting each day. I knew this because I continued to write after the Slice of Life Challenge ended last year. And, I will continue to write after the challenge this year, too. I know that because I have built an audience who continues to grow and support my work. Primarily, that audience started with the Slice of Life Challenge last year. I will forever be grateful to Stacey, and the team at Two Writing Teachers, who work together to pull this community together year after year. While it was only my second year of participation, the challenge itself was in its 11th year.
The simple fact is that I enjoy writing. I always have. I will continue to write because it is a way I can express myself to others, a way to connect, a way to organize my thoughts, and a way to create.
March to March
This year, from last March to this March, brought many changes for me.
I ended two groups which I founded as a volunteer, led, wrote curriculum for, and taught.
- My monthly garden club for students in 2nd – 5th grade ran from 2004-2017.
- A third grade writer’s circle I founded with the help of my son’s third grade teacher ran for six years, but also ended last year. He is now in 10th grade!
We traveled abroad to Bermuda for our 30th wedding anniversary!
I got a new job as the Garden Club Advisor at a new elementary school, in a new district.
I had major surgery.
My oldest son graduated from college and started grad school.
Both of our beloved cats died, each being held as they drew their last breath.
I traveled alone to see my parents, who live 900 miles away.
My mother-in-law passed away, just about a year after my father-in-law.
My husband changed jobs.
Both of my high school aged son’s were part of conference championship teams that won their titles for the first time in school history (tennis and soccer, both in 2017).
I wrote a research study, had it approved by my school’s IRB, sent and collected the surveys, and am now analyzing the data.
Centering and Goals
The funny thing is that during the Slice of Life Story Challenge, I wrote about few of the potentially life changing topics you see listed above. When I look at the list, it is no wonder that I feel unsettled. But, my writing grounds me. It centers me.
For the SOL challenge, I had two goals. 1) My posts would garner more views than last year at the same time, during the same challenge. This meant exceeding 949 views! 2) My second goal was to use more humor in my writing. Although I am usually thought of as an extremely serious person (which is fairly accurate), I do have a well-developed sense of humor. I am happy to say that I accomplished both goals! Earlier this week, I surpassed the number of views my blog had and it now sits at 1.1K for the month of March. I also wrote humorously (or, so I am told) about possibly seeing a cougar behind our home, and getting older. I did write about more serious topics as well, but the main point here is that I wrote!
And, I will continue writing. Thanks to those who connected with me through comments, related to my words through their own experience, and returned to read my blog more than once. Thank you to those who decided to follow my blog. And, a final thank you to TwoWritingTeachers.org who organize and host the Slice of Life Story Challenge each year. Through the community who forms around you, I have learned that I can and do call myself a writer!