Getting ready #SOL19

Hard to believe, but it’s that time again. Time to get ready for this years’ Slice of Life Challenge hosted by our colleagues at the Two Writing Teachers blog. This is the 3rd year I have spent time during my February Vacation week (it’s a New England thing, I guess!) doing a few tasks that help pave the way for a smoother, more sliceable March. Repeaters know the drill, but first timers might find some of these tips helpful.

Tip #1: I prepare 31 blog post drafts with the basics common to each Slice. It’s amazing what a timesaver this is. I picked this tip up from several experienced Slicers. 

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Tip #2: I prepare a Word document or Google Doc with Slicing dates and idea seeds. I also work on my drafts here. I don’t always use the seeds, but they are here in case I hit a patch of writer’s block. 31 days is a long time. You’ve got to be good to yourself. As much as I want my daily Slice to be inspired in the moment, weekdays are the most challenging for me simply because teacher days are busy, as we all know. I get ideas from lots of places, including my calendar. This year there are five Fridays in March, so I’m excited to Slice some poetry with the #PoetryFriday community, too. Like I said, these are just in-advance ideas and I often go with what comes to me the night before or the morning of. 

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Tip #3: I find a good source for writing prompts. My favorite is Teach Write’s #DWHabit Word of the Day. I often use these to prompt the daily writing in my Writer’s Notebook, “Evening Pages” during the week and “Morning Pages” on weekends and other days off. If you are not part of the Teach Write community, why not explore now before the SOLC? The Facebook group give you the opportunity to check in daily, which I find inspiring. 

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Tip 4: I save examples of Slicing formats and content that interest me. I created this Padlet to keep track of them and share with others. If you feel like adding something, please do! 

How do you or will you prepare for March’s Slice of Life Challenge? I’d love to hear from you in a comment. We’re in this together!


Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday. Won’t you join us?


16 thoughts on “Getting ready #SOL19

  1. Christie, your energy is inspiring! I had already signed up to be a part of the Welcome Wagon when I started to get cold feet. Did I really want to participate this year? Should I? I’ve got some other pots on the writing stove and I don’t want my life to boil over unnoticed because I’ve taken on too much….but today I decided to go for it. I filled out the participation form, took a deep breath, and submitted it. I know from experience that participating strengthens my writing and enriches my life. I also told myself that I’m free to ease up if need be–to miss a day or two. So, I was taking a small break from setting up SOLC 2019 drafts in my blog, when I read your post. Now I have your fabulous padlet to help me make the most of this month and hopefully successfully participate all 31 days! Yay! Thanks for your organizational skills and your generosity!

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  2. You’ve inspired me to begin preparing for this year’s challenge – my 3rd year too. What a great idea to create a padlet of inspiration! So much easier than bookmarking individual posts. Looking forward to reading your posts!

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  3. “31 days is a long time” – this line made me nervous for year 2! I know it will all come together! Thanks for sharing your tips! I have a poetry anthology of pictures and poems and memories and about 50+ journals – I’ll “prepare” by mining my own writing for a bit! What I love about the challenge is how I am soooooo wide awake to ideas! Sometimes the hardest part is sitting down! Here’s to the challenge!!

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  4. My vacation week is beginning on March 1st so I am hoping that having the extra time will jump start my month. I am usually a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer, and it has worked for 8 years. But I love your advice. I think I will set up my drafts and that padlet is so helpful. Thanks!

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  5. As you know, I also set up my drafts. I really don’t know if it saves me any time, but I feel like I already have something accomplished! I do pre-write a few slices for those just in case days! I love your Padlet, and I will certainly check it out again next month. Thanks for sharing all of the tips!

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  6. Thanks,Christie, for reminding me about setting up drafts. Last year I did that. I don’t know if it saved me time but I felt more organized. I also used those empty draft pages to drop content onto during the month when I had slicing ideas. I know that helped. Love your Padlet. Thanks for being so generous. I’m looking forward to reading your posts!


  7. You are well prepared and organised. I have had different years, some more prepared than others. Quite often I get inspiration from other slices. Happy Writing!


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