Last year’s March Slice of Life Storytelling Challenge was my first. I had been invited to join the challenge by a relatively new friend I met through the Long Island Writing Project, who is now one of the co-directors of the Two Writing Teachers website. Her name is Kathleen Sokolowski.
Kathleen very wisely knew that I needed something positive and stimulating in my life. She knew that I had recently become a cancer survivor and was seeking a fresh start. Her suggestion was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. I happily blogged every day for the entire month of March 2015. In fact, I couldn’t wait to get up every day to see whether I had any “comments” on my blog and to read all the new posts that had been written. It was an exhilarating and intoxicating time for me, and I almost forgot I was a cancer survivor during much of that month.
In addition to the thrill of blogging and commenting and reading my fan mail, I was starting to think of myself as a writer. That was a quiet realization that sneaked up on me that I didn’t even dare to acknowledge during the first weeks of the March challenge. I began to realize how much I was enjoying the act of writing: the search for a new idea each day, the careful selection of words that would express precisely how I felt; the desire to connect with an audience of wise and skilled readers and writers. I was hooked.
I have blogged on TWT every Tuesday ever since ( with the exception of two weeks during my visit to Germany at Christmas), and now I’ve completed my second year of the March challenge. I have had “conversations” with familiar and unfamiliar bloggers and have begun to really appreciate certain writers’ styles. I have been awed by the diversity and the richness of the writing, as well as the different styles and approaches that are presented each week. I have finally come to the realization that I am now a bona fide member of this writing community and that makes me so proud.
This year I volunteered to become part of the “Welcome Wagon” and that, too, has enriched my writing. It has made me a better reader so I can respond more specifically to a writer’s words, commenting in a more meaningful way. The give and take of this writing community is unique, I believe. The warmth and hospitality of the group is exceptional. The skill, talent and perseverance of the writers is nothing less than admirable.
In one year I have managed to transcend my status as a cancer survivor to become someone who “writes.” I sometimes do mention my cancer experience when I blog, but it no longer defines me. I have a new self-definition; one that I prefer. I am a member of the Slice of Life writing community; I am a committed writer ; I am a blogger. One year ago I could never have imagined I would be writing these words today and having these good feelings about myself.
Thank you, Kathleen and the crew of TWT and thank you, Slicers, for an unforgettable year of writing, growth and happiness. I look forward to our future together.