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GEARING UP FOR THE SOLSC: Create Your Own Blog

The 5th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge begins on Thursday, March 1st, 2012.  Are you planning to participate to stretch yourself as a writer?  Are you hoping to amass a lot of writing about slices of your life in a short amount of time?  Are you thinking about participating in our month-long challenge so you can show your students how you’re living a writerly life?  One or all of those reasons are reason enough to partake in our month-long challenge.  However, there’s something you’ll need in order to participate in the Slice of Life Story Challenge: a blog.

There are five things you should think about before you create a blog for use with our online challenge:

1)  Host:  Blogger, Edublogs, and WordPress are are three free places I’ve housed blogs since I began blogging five years ago.  Each of them have their pluses and minuses.  Explore each of them and decide which one is right for you.  If you decide upon WordPress, which is where we been hosting this blog, then check out How-To Geek’s step-by-step tutorial for starting a blog on WordPress.

2)  Blog Name/URL:  Whether you choose a straightforward name or a witty one, find a blog name that works for you.  Blog names and URLs are often, but not always, the same.  You might wish to Google several blog names you’re thinking of to make sure no one else has the same one.

3)  User Name:  Will you use your real name or a pseudonym?  In order to fully participate in the Challenge your blog will need to be public so other slicers can read and comment on your writing.  To that end, if you choose to adopt a pseudonym as your screen name, you should also think about how much personal information you’ll disclose (e.g., your location, names of family members, photographs).  You are more than welcome to write your slices under a pseudonym without disclosing any personal information.

4)  Function:  Will your blog’s sole purpose be for the Slice of Life Story Challenge (i.e., in March and/or year-round on Tuesdays) or will you blog about other things (e.g., teaching, parenting, an upcoming wedding)?  Will your writing be for your personal growth as a writer or do you intend to share your slices of life with your students?

5)  Comments: Will you moderate comments or will your blog be an open forum?  Review your host’s comment settings and pick one that’s right for you.  (Click here to read more about some issues some of us WordPressers have been having with regard to leaving comments on Blogger blogs.)

Do you have questions about starting a blog?  If so, leave a comment below.  Need more encouragement to start a blog?  Read a related post Ruth wrote last year.  If you’re a long-time blogger/slicer, then please leave some words of wisdom for people who might think about creating a blog so they can participate in the Slice of Life Story Challenge.

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

8 thoughts on “GEARING UP FOR THE SOLSC: Create Your Own Blog Leave a comment

  1. The challenge definitely helped me to grow as a writer. I have shared the link to Two Writing Teachers with numerous friends. Ruth & Stacey are aways encouraging. I feel blessed with the friendships I have made. When I talk about Deb and Linda, Stacey and Ruth and others, my husband sometimes will ask, “Now which one is that?”

    Slice of life certainly has enriched my life. I am looking forward to the March challenge.

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  2. I started my One Sunflower blog and then found TWT – which led me to Tuesday’s SOL and the March challenge. Now I’m like the mouse and the cookie – if I’m blogging, I’m doing a SOL! I got so into it, I started this blog just so I could write! I’m definitely going to try the March challenge again – I learned so much about myself and about writing and I love the community.

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  3. DEFINITELY start a blog and join the slice-of-life community! I found TWT over the summer and I started my own blog a few weeks later. The slices of life on Tuesdays are one of my favorite events of the week — it’s inspiring to read everyone’s slices, and the relationships built through commenting are so encouraging! My husband makes fun of me now because I’ll say I “know” someone while talking about their blog — he says “but you’ve never met them!” I really feel like I have gotten to know people through the Tuesday slicing though, and I’m excited to do my first March challenge!

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  4. @katsok: It worked! I was able to view your post and leave a comment. Hooray.
    @Jee Young: Thanks for the heads-up about your new endeavor. I linked to “Two Apples a Day” in our Teachers Blogroll.
    @Linda & Deb: I’m glad you’ll be back for the SOLSC again this March. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you through writing this past year. Hopefully we’ll meet in person some day.

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  5. I’ve loved participating & haven’t stopped since March 1st, 2011. I guess my best advice is that changes can be made even after you’ve begun, so you can explore what you do & how the blog looks during the time you’re already writing. Just be sure you find a name you like & answer the questions Stacey posted above. The rest will follow as you move along.

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  6. Hi Stacey & Ruth,
    I’m excited to be part of the slice of life challenge again this year. I’m not sure how I will manage to find time to write every day, but I know this will push me. Also, I’ve just started a new blog with a good friend of mine. I was inspired by your blog to do it! I wrote about it here…

    http://teachtoinspire.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/new-year-new-blog/

    Please check it out! 🙂 I would love your support in helping spread the word about it.

    Have a great weekend!

    Jee Young

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  7. I don’t even remember how I found TWT last year, but it was about this time. And joining the challenge was scary. But I did it. And I’m glad. I found a great group of teachers and writers, each of whom I wish I taught with. And in some ways, I do. I have learned so much about writing and teaching in the past year it’s amazing. This is the best professional development I have found.

    So don’t be scared. Just write!

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