a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Friday, April 1, 2011

Reflecting on the Slice of Life Challenge

Slice of Life Challenge was a powerful experience for me this year.  I learned a few new things and confirmed others.  These are just some of the many things I am taking away with me because of the work Ruth and Stacey have done for us:

I like the discipline of writing every day whether I feel like it or not (most days I felt like writing, but often I didn’t feel confident that I could come up with something that was ‘good enough’).  It is invigorating.

I am inspired by the pieces of writing that other people post.

I revise (a lot) as I write.

It is difficult for me to reread my own writing without being overly critical.

I feel validated by other people’s comments about my writing, and that validation fuels me.

I enjoy writing positively even if I am feeling a lot of negative inside.  It doesn’t pay to “celebrate the problem” by writing about it (I save that for a phone conversation with someone who will still love me if I whine).  I think this has something to do with Ruth’s sentiment about being our best selves (not to be confused with, though it is similar to,  Oprah’s statement about living our best lives).

It is exciting, in a way I can’t articulate very well, to find myself in the other people’s slices.  I am thrilled to know there are so many like-minded people out there!

I often find I don’t know exactly what it is I have to say about a topic until I do the hard work of writing it out.

Although it pains me, I often have to leave some ideas out of a post in order to make it clear and focused for readers. 

I am ready to do more of this writing thing. A lot more.


  1. I am so glad to hear that you plan to do more writing! I have enjoyed reading your writing, and found my self agreeing with so much of your reflection.
    Congrats on writing every day!

  2. I am happy you plan to continue writing; I've enjoyed so many of your posts, like the poem about the chair & the more recent one about the encyclopedias. Looking forward to seeing you at least on Tuesdays!

  3. I share so many of your thoughts and feelings! Well stated. I looked forward to reading your slices every day. You are so powerful, yet gentle with your words. Thank you for writing and I hope it continues throughout the year.

  4. Two reflections of yours really struck a chord with me - 1) being positive in writing- I realize I feel the same way. I used to have a "bugaboo" section on my blog but I removed it. and 2) taking things out of a post in order to be focused. Write, define, refine, be mine, publish!

  5. I, too, liked the habit of writing every day. I didn't post yesterday and felt rather lost. I was really happy to see Ruth had put up the links for all the reflections this morning so I had something to do with my time!

    I look forward to reading more from you!

  6. I can relate very much to your statement about writing about positive things. Or maybe it is just looking for the positive in the stuff I would like to complain about. I think that is why I've had a hard time posting lately. I think I needed to take the time to "journal" the bad stuff, get it out of my system, then get back to writing and posting on my blog.