Like many of you, I feel overwhelmed at the prospect of writing a blog post every day for the entire month of March. Last year, I began the Slice of Life Challenge more or less on a whim. I really didn’t think I’d ever be able to post every day. About half way into the Challenge, I decided I couldn’t stop. This year, I’m totally committed to completing the Challenge, but I need a plan. We encourage our students to make writing plans, to have a notebook where they collect ideas. When he spoke at the Connecticut Reading Conference last year, Lester Laminack referred to a writer’s notebook as “the junk drawer for your ideas,” full of all sorts of odds and ends. Some of these snippets become longer pieces of writing; others stay in the drawer just in case they’re needed some day.
My junk drawer is full today, but my brain doesn’t feel up to the task of sorting through the ideas I’ve accumulated over the past day 24 hours from reading blog posts, books and articles, so I’m going to write them here so they won’t be forgotten.
Yesterday, Fran wrote about memories of home and her grandmother. This got me thinking of some pieces I’ve written about my own grandmother. Maybe I’ll reread them and polish one so it’s ready to share.
A colleague had a baby girl yesterday, and I’m thinking about what to knit for her. I don’t have the yarn I need, and this makes me think that choosing the right yarn for a knitting project is like choosing the right words for our writing. I once taught a lesson on word choice exactly this way. I even brought in different types of yarn to help the kids visualize the analogy!
Finally, I read Tricia’s post on her lovely blog, The Miss Rumphius Effect, about her new dog. She shared “Dog in Bed”, by Joyce Sidman, and that got me thinking about my own dog (and cat) and what I could write about them.
So, I have much to think about, but also many other obligations to take care of this evening. The good news is that I have a plan, and these thoughts will be waiting here for me when I’m ready to write more.
Thank you, as always, to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, and Beth for hosting the Slice of Life Challenge. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.
9 thoughts on “SOLC 2014: Making Plans”
Yes, writing plans! I think it makes the March Challenge a bit less daunting to have an idea bank to turn to from time to time.
Thanks for the shout out! I was most worried about 31 ideas and had over 20 before the month began. So far, I have NOT used even one! Other ideas/events seem to cause a need to write, to think, to reflect, to share!
Thanks, also to #TWTBlog for this fabulous opportunity! What a great forum for some of us “budding” authors!
What a lovely analogy — choosing the right words is like choosing the right yarn. Both finished products — if planned and executed with care — will nourish body and mind.
I love reading Slices about the process of slicing. I always love to read some before I begin my own writing 🙂 I also like to write, publish, post and come back again, later in the day and polish.
So good to be reading you every day 🙂
I have several ideas in my “junk drawer” but I will be honest, but I know the time will come when I sit at that blank screen and think…what am I going to write about. Deb Day wrote about keeping a notebook handy when she reads slices to write down ideas. Nerves are in the horizon… I think I need a plan!
I love the notebook idea. I’m trying to list titles…or drafts right in Word Press when I feel stuck. It hasn’t happened yet, but I am nervous because this month is very hectic and I also have to put time in planning for the course I’m teaching in April. Your post made me feel calmer, and I can also talk about those things I’m planning to write about, just like you did! Thanks. xo
It must feel good to have the plans ready to write, Catherine. I love that idea of the choosing of the yarn that’s like making the choice of the right word! Glad you shared about it!
As I read, I have a document open where I write ideas or paste quotes that I like or think that I could use later. I try to think about ideas at school or other places I go to. Library is a wonderful place for ideas. Think about all the funny book titles there are!
I love “hearing” the thinking that goes on as we plan our writing…..I SO WISH I could come up with a way to share this….oh yes…we already have that…the SOL Classroom Challenge!