Saturday, March 3, 2018

Tipping Point

3 of 31 - SOLSC 2018
The Slice of Life March Challenge is hosted by Two Writing Teachers and part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge that takes place each Tuesday throughout the year and everyday in March. It is a supportive (and awesome!) community of those trying their hand at writing and encouraging others in their writing. Join us!

I have been walking six days a week for the past month! That's 24 days of walking, if I have felt like it or not. I haven't walked consistently since I was training for the Portland Marathon in 2009, when my daughter was an infant. 

While I have seen an improvement in my health (in ways I'm not going to get into right now) it is still not easy to get out the door some days (for reasons I'm not going to list right here). 

Last night it was after nine before I started. (My ideal is first thing in the morning, both because the weather is better and because I have accomplished something before I have even really gotten started.) But, I did it.

Something happens when I pass the 20 minute mark. At that point I could probably go another hour, even if up until that point I have checked my watch ten times. (I walk for a minimum of 30 minutes.) I don't know why this is, but I have noticed it consistently.

The March challenge is a bit like my walks. I can do it, each and every day, even if I don't want to. Something happens when I pass day five or six. At that point my writing brain is always running in the background and I am more likely to notice small moments. As they happen I start to draft possible ways to put the experience on the page. The writing is not really the hardest part. Having ideas is much harder. When you are notice a slice happening in your own life, writing it down just takes time. Writing it well is another matter. 

(And the challenge of remembering to write myself a note so I don't forget the inspiration is an entirely different feat!)


  1. I love how you said, "My writing brain is always running in the background and I am more likely to notice small moments." It never ceases to amaze me how my whole outlook on the world and the things I notice shifts so dramatically in March.

  2. Kristi,

    Your blogpost title reminded me of Malcolm Gladwell's book Tipping Point.

    I have walked three half marathons and agree with you that it takes habit of keep going each day before it becomes part of your day.

    Writing down versus writing well is an excellent point.

    Happy writing.


  3. I loved your perspective on the similarities between a physical practice like walking and an intellectual one like writing. Like you, I am very motivated by daily challenges, once I get going it's easy to keep going on that momentum! I'm really enjoying my first Slice of Life Challenge so far - and congratulations to you on the walking challenge!

  4. It's funny how once we get rolling, the momentum takes over! I enjoy walking a lot. I love listening to podcasts or music and being out in the air. I've mostly been doing at home workouts but when the weather warms up a big here, I think I'd like to get walking again. Congrats on keeping the commitment and seeing health gains!

  5. My writing brain
    runs in the background,
    set into motion by
    the flow of the day before me,
    and open eyes will lead me
    towards a wider, open heart,
    where I'll find stories to tell even when
    I think the threads may yet again be
    falling apart.

    -- Line-lifting for poems as comments. No surprise for you.


  6. Your discipline in both exercise and your writing is SO admirable. I, too, am a walker and find that we are kindred spirits concerning the 20 minute mark. I have trained myself to do "yoga breathing" for the first half mile while mentally listing the blessings of nature and the health to be walking. Helps, but it's still a challenge!

  7. I'm always finding parallels between writing and different activities and I like the ones you shared with walking. Finding ideas is often the hardest part of slicing and experiencing that always renews my empathy for those students who claim they have nothing to write about. It can be hard to recognize those story moments, but it's amazing how they become more visible once you've primed yourself to notice them. I like the idea of my "writing brain always running in the background!"

  8. I love this. I need to get into the habit of walking. You've motivated me to commit to that. I agree that it's the same as writing. I love the idea of how writing develops your writing brain. I totally get that!

  9. I too find that my writer's brain is always running in the background during this month. Sometimes what I will do to hold onto the inspiration is just open up a draft blog post and write a sentence or some phrases in there to remind me. At any given time I have 8 or 9 "drafts" going. But I too spend far more time writing it well than writing it down. I enjoyed connecting with your topic today!