SOLC 1 of 31: Why I Write

This is my tenth year doing the Slice of Life Challenge. This year, I have every reason NOT to do this challenge, and yet, it has come to be an important part of my March life. Not only do I recognize this, but so do my family members who encouraged me to participate again this year.

So, why do I write each March? I go back to a poem I wrote for the students in my school when I help to introduce them to their writer’s notebooks. I wrote:

My Writer’s Notebook

By Jodi Mahoney

My writer’s notebook is

Like a dream, but in writing

Like a photo, but with words

Like a painting, but without colors

Like a journal but not about day to day

Like a scrapbook but not limited to one event

Like a sketchbook but with paragraphs and lists, 

not lines and pencil strokes.

My writer’s notebook is

Like a planner for my imagination

Like an organizer for my memories

Like a listener for my complaints

Like an etch-a-sketch for my revisions

My writer’s notebook is a place to capture my 



Just for me.

It’s the last lines…

“My writer’s notebook is a place to capture my 



Just for me.”

…that are my reasons for writing. Writing in March is a time to capture my THIS YEAR, my HERE and NOW, just for me. It is a way to memorialize my thoughts for today, catpure my memories and recollections of yesterday and be there for me and others to revisit in our tomorrows. And so, I write.

As the days near to the start of the writing challenge, topics begin to populate my head space. Based on the topics that have percolated already, this year I know that my writing will be centered around two major life events: the death of my transgender brother and completing my Ed.D. in Educational leadership. I know other topics will arise and that’s the beauty of the challenge. But for March 2020, capturing my right here, right now, these events are at the forefront of my consciousness. And so, I write.


  1. March 1, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    You have a LOT going on, Jodi. (I’m sorry about the loss of your brother.) You have every reason not to do the Challenge this year, but those same reasons not to do it are the reasons you should. Writing helps us process so much of what’s happening in our lives. I’m glad you’re pushing past all of the struggle to put words on the e-page.

    Yay for ten years!

  2. Jen Driggers said,

    March 1, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Love your poem. I may just have to try something like that to capture why I write. I wasn’t sure I could commit this year, but decided to just do it. I’m working on my degree in Educational Leadership as well. Looking forward to reading your writing this month.

  3. Book Dragon said,

    March 1, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    What a powerful poem! Thank you for sharing. I hope your Slicing will help you process your life events. Sending you virtual gentle hugs on the loss of your brother.

  4. March 1, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Your words, “March is a time to capture…” are so true! Things float around and embed into us all year, but now, in March, we remember – for now and for all time. Looking forward to reading all that you capture this month!

  5. Tracy Brosch said,

    March 1, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    Love this idea… I use NaNoWriMo to write with my kids every year, and I do a ‘memoir of the yaar’ Last year, I pulled so much from my Slice of Life blog, and it amazed me just how full my memories were for the year because of what I had written in March.

  6. March 2, 2020 at 1:51 am

    I’m sorry about the loss of your brother. I’m glad you’re here to process and have the support of this community.

  7. March 2, 2020 at 1:54 am

    I love this so much! You have given me some ideas for my own future writing.

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