Sunday, March 30, 2014

SOLSC 31 of 31 - The End or just the Beginning?

Join me this month as I write a slice of my life each day this March and join many others sharing slices at  My 6-8th grade students are also be slicing this month and you can find links to their daily blogs HERE.

Go to Yesterday's Slice
Copy the top
"New Post"

The keys tap quietly as I type, with mostly five of six fingers. The Space Bar makes slightly louder noises as I push it down with more confidence because it's bigger and easier to find. The delete key is a rapid staccato as I erase whole words, or even lines to edit, spellcheck or change. A pause in the sounds as the cursor moves via arrow keys or mouse to reach above. Tapity-tap to change something, and then another pause, as the cursor returns back to where it was before. 

For the past month, a slice of each day has been to sit down and write  I've written to you while I have been happy, tired, mad, thoughtful, nostalgic, or whatever my "normal" state of mind is. Slices have been composed at school, Starbucks, the bathroom floor during my daughter's bath (like this one), the couch (especially when I was not sleeping), and most often at the dining room table.

Some days the words flowed easily from my fingers to the keys. Other days it's been a struggle, inspiration absent, and I cringed when I hit the orange "Publish" button, knowing that others would read it. To protect my ego in those moments, I've continually repeated to myself that this blog is like a writer's notebook. I need to write a lot to find a few gems and it's likely that 90% of what I write is the equivalent of manure; a natural and necessary excrement of living and growth, but not worth spending much thought about. 

Just as a garden does well with fertilizer, my writing confidence has grown with each post, even the manure ones. I have several posts I'm very proud of and even excited to expand. While I usually pride myself in sensory description and scene setting, I have been willing to share poetry, memoirs, and I am realizing that I others find my writing humorous when I mean them to. 

I can not say enough about how much each comment from you has meant to me. I wish I had commented more for other people, although I did have some good marathon days of catching up. So thanks if you gave me feedback or support, online or in person.

I was lucky to have so many people near me slicing away each day. Linda, Kam, Suparna, Katie, and my wife Susan were there for support and inspiration. But my other secret helpers were a sticker chart and a class of twenty-two students slicing along with me. Doing the Classroom SOLSC has been amazing for me as a teacher and truly inspirational as a writer. Daily, I have been astounded by my students' writing. They are so brave, real, and their voices shine out from their blogs! I not only have a better idea of how to help them as students and writers, but I know them better as people. And I have to say, having my name on the bottom of the sticker chart in the classroom was pretty helpful as well. I'm okay if they are better writers than I am, as some of them are, but I don't want to be out-hustled.

As I reflect on what it means to me, to write each day, I am excited by the possibilities. I want to write, and while I don't quite know how to share it beyond this blog, I expect that I will. Without a sticker chart, or a place to post each day, I probably will not write each day once this challenge is over. But just as I know I can climb a mountain, or survive a long school year, because I've done it before, I know I can do this too. My mental stamina for writing is stronger than it has ever been and since I believe in it, it exists, and this is only the beginning for me as a writer.

Notebook photo credit: <a href="">Theryn Fleming</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Pen photo credit: <a href="">kfergos</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>


  1. So glad you got to write with your students! You now have many shared experiences. Keep on writing and come join us on Tuesdays!

  2. What a great reflection for yourself and your students! Sometimes that "push" is what we need just to meet our goals and now you have those to share with your students as well!

  3. I love your reflection, Max, & am so glad you came along for the ride. I bet I will see your writing elsewhere someday! And I'm looking forward to that, but first, looking forward to every Tuesday! Have a great week!

  4. Nicely written, Max, and congratulations to both you and your students!

  5. So brave to take on both the classroom challenge and this one, Max - and here's hoping to see you on Tuesdays!

  6. Great post to end..and no need to end... come on back every Tuesday- I'd love to keep "seeing" you. I'm quickly realizing you are king of specific detail and word choice. Love that!

  7. I love writing with my students, and I'm glad you loved it too. I hope you'll join us on Tuesdays! Some of my students will be continuing to slice on Tuesdays with me -- maybe yours can join us? :-)

  8. This is a great last slice that I enjoyed reading. Happy end of SOLSC!!

  9. I love how you reflected on the challenge! I have enjoyed reading your posts. You truly have a gift and a way with words. Keep going...others out there want to read what you have to say. Manure and all!