I reclaimed a writing practice a couple of days ago.
I didn’t invent it, but I am adapting it.
I call it sentence-a-day.
I first heard of sentence-a-day from a professor in one of my graduate classes. He suggested that we get into the practice of writing a sentence every day about anything that came to mind about each student. He told us, or maybe I realized soon after, that it is those students we can’t recall at the end of the day that need our attention.
During a recent #Time2Write writing group, I mentioned that I often tell my students, especially the undeclared writers, that if they wrote just one line or one sentence every day, they’d have 365 lines or sentences by the end of one year. (I don’t remember who said this, but it really resonated with me. I share it with my students in the hopes that they will realize the impact of writing something. Anything. Every day.
365 lines is not nothing.
365 lines is something.
I tell my students this because I want them to realize that writing is cumulative. Writing happens one word, one sentence, one line at a time, and they can do it. And, one well-crafted sentence is worth more than a series of loosely connected sentences.
I tell them this because I want them to know that while they may feel intimidated by the thought of writing an entire piece from beginning to end, right now, they can still write something that is meaningful and memorable.
So, back to my writing practice…
When I talked about this in my writing group, a few people said that they do just that – one sentence a day – and they’ve been doing this for several years. A sentence a day about anything they want to remember. They write to remember moments that may get lost unless they are written down. And, isn’t that one of the powerful reasons for writing at all? To remember? To record a sliver of life? And, isn’t that the point of the weekly Slice of Life Challenge?
OK. I’ll try it, I said.
So, I have written on two nights.
The first night was easy.
But on the second night I noticed a tendency to write something negative about my day.
Hmm, I said.
Those are not the things I want to remember, at least not in my one line/one sentence a day notebook.
I want to remember funny things, brave things, beautiful things, joyful things about my day.
I want to look back to remember what I was feeling and experiencing during this time.
I want to smile. I want to chuckle. I want to nod my head and say: that is a good memory.
Cross posted to The Two Writing Teachers Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge.