Tuesday, March 14, 2023

How is your writing life going? #SOL23

This past weekend I attended and presented at a conference at Notre Dame (which is giving me more slices than I ever anticipated!).  Friday night, Donalyn Miller gave a keynote about reading lives and how people, adults and children, are struggling with finding that reading joy again.

It was a phenomenal keynote, and at one point, she had us turn and talk about how our reading life was going. The room buzzed with conversations from every table. 

My presentation was on journaling as a way to well-being. I decided to add that question to start off my presentation:  "How is your writing life going?" 

After asking this, some just looked at me with a blank stare, some looked down, and some let out a chuckle. It was obvious to everyone there; writing was not something they did regularly.

I asked them what the last thing was they wrote outside of school. When the only things mentioned were a grocery list and a to-do list, I knew this audience needed to hear what I had to say.

Since we are a part of this writing community, we understand the importance of having a writing life. But it's also important why we must continue to share its value with others who are willing to listen.


Join Two Writing Teachers and other teacher-writers as we 
share a slice of life during the month of March. 


  1. Not too surprised to hear that response… but isn’t it sad? My colleagues, I think, regarded it as highly unusual that I liked to read so much and could always come up with book recommendations. But that I love to write was in the realm of impossible to believe.

  2. Oh my goodness, Leigh Anne. This brings me back to the slicer meet up at the beginning of the month when we all met on Zoom. A participant said, "Teachers of writing.....need to be writing." It seems so obvious, so simple, so logical. And yet it's anything but. I'm glad you added the question to the lineup, and I wish I could have been there to cheer you on. I wish the slicers had been sitting in one section and all stood up and cheered and danced when you asked - to show the rest of the participants that writers celebrate what we do. We connect with others, we share our sorrows and reach out to others going through what we've been through. Community - - thank God for writing communities.

  3. It sounds like a wonderful conference and that your presentation was needed. I know my colleagues do not write outside of school and think I am crazy. I know that my writing has transformed me as a teacher.

  4. You are a great advocate for a writing life and benefits of this habit. You definitely encourage me to keep writing and to venture into new writing experiences like Slicing. -Cathy Hutter

  5. It is much easier being a reader than a writer. Ask the SOLSC community the same question and we'll say, it's going great, we are writing daily. :)

  6. Ha ha, what Terje said! But it is sad that most very literate adults only write lists. I hope some of them add cards- writing meaningful messages in get well, birthday, thank you cards (or emails or texts) is important writing. But still, they are missing so much still- when I consider how my writing life feeds me and creates community with this group and with my long-time small writing group. Hard work that makes me so happy. I’m glad you are that encouraging voice.