Thursday, March 22, 2018

Slice of Life 2018 Day 22: Take Pause

As I was paging through my notebook yesterday morning (reaching for an idea for my next slice), I stumbled across this poem that I wrote back in mid-February:

Take Pause
Take pause…
at raw, quivering

Notice your emotions.
Name your emotions.
Accept your emotions,
whether they are full of
joy, rage,
despair, sadness,
loneliness, or jealousy.

Allow an
of unfiltered, unapologetic

Recognize your humanity.
After all, emotions
are impermanent
and are what enable us
to feel ALIVE.
Be curious
to cultivate compassion and
wisdom within.

you are worthy
you are whole,
and you are beloved.

Initially, after I wrote this poem, I hated it and buried it in my writer’s notebook, determined that I could never share it. My negative self-talk took over: my poem was too simple, my words weren’t descriptive enough, I didn’t dive in deep enough, and my content was silly. Who would want to read something like this?

Negative self-talk is my worst critic.

Frequently, I find myself stifled by negative self-talk, especially in my writing. For this reason, I have this quote from Ralph Keyes’ The Courage to Write, taped on the inside of my writer’s notebook:

"Fear is felt by writers at every level. Anxiety accompanies the first word they put on paper and the last."
This quote nudges me to keep writing and sharing, even when it's scary.

This year I have been working on being more courageous in what I write and sharing it.
Blogging has been a great step for me in sharing my writing, so far. I am in awe when someone notices something about my writing that I hadn't considered. That is thrilling to know. I am always so honored (and humbled) when my dear friend and colleague Lisa reads one of my posts and tells me what she likes or what she tries in her classroom based on what I wrote. Generous comments from online readers, especially Glenda from Evolving English Teacher and Elisabeth from The Dirigible Plum has been another source of encouragement. They have commented on my post each single day during my Slice of Life Challenge.

And so I have deep gratitude for each of you who keeps coming back to read my writing and the new people who take the time to read my words. I sincerely appreciate it.


  1. Thanks, Trina. I love reading your posts—including this poem—and while I found you as part of my SOLSC newbies via the Welcome Wagon, I’ll be returning after this month ends. I appreciate that reciprocaty in commenting. Only one other from my group of new slicers has commented on my blog and then only twice. This lack of reciprocity is something I did not anticipate, and I’ve struggled w/ it.

    I really like that quote you have taped in your notebook. Last night I was thinking about why I hesitate to share my poetry and conclude it goes back to my undergrad days. Knowing that doesn’t mean I’ll share, however.

    I also love that you share ideas for teaching poetic forms. I think there may be a gap in professional literature for this. I hope you’ll think about how you can fill that gap.

    1. Glenda, I love so much that you were a part of my Welcome Wagon team. You have made me feel SO welcome! I feel fortunate that I have learned from you.

      At times I have struggled in keeping up with comments. Not because I do not want to read posts, but just being overwhelmed with slicing every day. I have never done anything close to this. Maybe the new slicers are the same?

  2. That self-critic can be such a pain at times. I think we have all been there. But think about how you have grown through the month of writing. That is what always keeps me coming back...along with the community of course. You need to remember your last three lines! :)

    1. Leigh Anne, I believe that you were the first person who ever commented on a post that I wrote (way before SOLC). I cannot tell you how happy that made me. I will always remember that!

      I can say for certain that participating in SOLC has helped me focus as a writer. For the past two years I have done a lot of writing, but I usually was not writing for a specific thing. It has provided me with a new kind of energy.

      The writing community with SOLC and with Ruth Ayres has been refreshing - I did not know that something like that existed!

  3. I'm thrilled you had the courage to revisit and publish your poem. It is BEAUTIFUL and THOUGHT-PROVOKING. Thank you for trusting this community to share it with.

    1. Thank you, Stacey! I have really been enjoying this positive community. What a gift.

  4. And you're out here, defying that negative self-talker and gifting the world with your unique perspective. Your place is here, your voice is one that is no longer missing. Today we celebrate!

    1. Sherri, thank you for those comments! I love them! Yes, today is a great day to celebrate!

  5. I really identify with what you've written here. I think the only reason I had the courage to share my writing here is because I signed up impulsively. I have a terrible critic in my head & it is so *scary* to share my writing. I love the quote you've taped in your notebook and I love that you shared your poem and your fears. I, too, am taking joy in this community - and you are a part of my joy. Thank you.

    1. Amanda - I totally get it! I signed up at the very last minute... I was about to back out and then all of the sudden I was in your monthly challenge!

      Thank you for your kind words! I feel so loved today!

  6. Thank you for these kind words! I've been enjoying your blog so much. I also really enjoyed this poem. Poetry is hard for me to write and share too. I appreciate the Slice challenge for pushing me along a little bit.

    1. You are welcome! It is really nice to know that you have been enjoying my blog and my poem. I enjoy reading your poem too. I would like to think that we would definitely be friends IRL!

  7. I had a post on the very topic of the negative thoughts that plague me as a writer. Thanks for sharing your poem!

    1. Yes, I read your post! It makes me feel strangely better that some people struggle with negative self-talk too

  8. Love these lines from your poem:
    "you are worthy
    you are whole,
    and you are beloved."
    Congrats on joining SOL. I was encouraged to join the challenge in 2012 by my students. I'm sad that no one I know IRL blogs, but I've met many blogging friends at conferences and I count them as my good friends now.

    1. Thanks ! I know one other person who consistently blogs in real life. That is really great that your students encouraged you to go for it! I am hoping to encourage MY students to blog next year!

      I need to remind myself all of the time of those three lines that you posted. It's kind of a little mantra of mine!


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