Thursday, October 10, 2013

The First Slice

I decided that this year would be the year that I introduced the Slice of Life challenge into my writing workshop. We had been bouncing back and forth for years, trying to find the perfect balance between assigned topic writing and personal free choice writing, and this challenge seemed like the best way to do it.

We brought everyone in to class, completed the homework collection and upcoming assignment minutia, and started to introduce the idea of writing about the tiny moments of our lives. We examined an example, pulling apart the details of what made the writing work. We took time to visualize a moment, and then we set to the task of writing. I held my breath for a second before my pen hit the paper. What would happen? I wondered internally. Could this group handle finding their own topics, or would they start resisting, playing, or worse yet, just not doing. But my worry was for nothing because for the very first time all year everyone in the room was silent as words got into notebooks and stories started to develop.

We wrote for 10 minutes, and in those ten minutes amazing things happened. We wrote and wrote, and as soon as our timer went off, people needed to share. Alex needed to tell his stories of eating cherry tomatoes plucked fresh off the vine when he should have been weeding in science class. Gil regaled us with the story of Michael's first ever home run. Ravi entertained us with his covert mission to procure a comb, and Pamela and Kosette's friendship was sealed by a returned glue stick.

In only 10 minutes we got into the slices of lives, and the writing was good. I was amazed at how much magic could happen in such a short time. Pleased with how much potential we have to grow as a community of writers, and sure that next week's slices could only get better.