#1: To Begin

slice-of-life_individualThe beginning of any new activity for me is always full of mixed emotions. I am excited, curious and a bit fearful as always but I am ready. I have made lists of ideas, I have thought about how I am going to get this done and I have started a few posts that sit in my draft folder ready to be completed.

Today I know I can do this. I have done it for many years now but my thinking goes back to the first year. I think about you new slicers or those of us who have taken a few years off and are back now to write again. I know the thinking well – one morning you get up saying “I can do this one month of writing daily.  It is not a big deal. I have lots to say.”  Then a few days later there is the dark creeping in and you say to yourself “what was I thinking – I can’t possibly find time for this!”

But what I have learned over the years is to not look ahead in the sense of counting days. I have learned to take it one day at a time. What can I write today and when can I slip that in to the busy schedule? Can I write when my students write? Can I write as dinner is in the oven baking or maybe stopping at a coffee shop or a little local wine bar on the way home to sit and write for a half hour?

I have learned to make it a special time each day for me. A time I look forward to – my tea is often by my side if I am writing in the morning. If it is a late evening I might have a bit of chocolate and a small glass of wine with the lights low. It becomes a time of quiet reflection. I write and then wonder off to bed to read. What a glorious way to end the day.

Ok, I know many of you are chasing after children with homework to do and lunches to make for tomorrow and lesson plans to do. I have been there and done that. It is tough – but maybe for this one month you step back just a little – take a bit of time to be sure tomorrows lessons are ready before you leave school. Once kids are in bed you let your partner know you are taking a half hour or an hour each night to sit and write for this one month. Let them help you find that space and time. No partner at home – then it is even more important that you set this time for you – find those few minutes to write. It is worth it!

The first few days are easy you are excited and ready for the change of writing daily. It feels good to share your thoughts with a community of friends but about day 8 or 9 we all start to feel the push. We wonder about what we are doing and why.

  • Don’t stop! Just keep going – one day at a time.

On those days that you look at a blank screen – write just a few words – maybe even start with “I have nothing to say today.” I have done that often and have been very surprised that I have ended up with a long post.

  • Words bring forth more words.

I don’t know why or how and I am not going to think about it. I just know it works. Just as I know the more I read the easier it is to write. ( but that is a post for another day)

So here we are at March 1st. :

  • the opening to meteorological spring (March, April, and May)
  • the sun is up each day a few more minutes – 2 to 3 minutes more a day
  • either snow is melting or plants are growing and flowering if you are further south

It is time.

Do what you ask your students to do – watch closely, listen for new sounds, smell the change in the air and…

Take time to write.


About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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6 Responses to #1: To Begin

  1. Lisa Keeler says:

    Such wise words from an experienced slicer. Thanks for the reminders.

  2. Cheri Hart says:

    “Words bring forth more words.” I adore this sentence. Can I quote you in the future?

    • Joanne Toft says:

      Sure but I am sure some famous author some where must of said this or something like it. I just love the thought that if I start writing the words will come. 🙂

  3. arjeha says:

    “One day at a time” – this is exactly the way to approach this challenge. Nothing is too daunting if we just do it for one day. Each day is a new beginning. This challenge is a great way to reconnect with old writing friends and to make some new ones as well. Happy slicing.

  4. Ramona says:

    Thanks for your words. “Take it one day at a time.” It’s impossible if you think of the entire month, but just for today is doable. I love the idea of making this writing time a special time to look forward to each day. I’m glad you’re here.

  5. I agree with you so much on this! I really struggle to find inspiration to write a lot of times but I know that if I write I’ll feel so much better. Its always nice to hear that sometimes its okay to start without anything in you mind and then write something beautiful! (^_^)

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