#SOL18: March 20






How much writing?



How much reading?

What works?

What doesn’t?

The best thing about March is the #SOL Story Challenge.  This is my fifth year of writing every day in March. But it felt different somehow.  I was writing daily and yet something seemed like I was swimming uphill, because I was actually writing less.  This led to a quick writing log where I kept track of my writing patterns on a calendar. Here’s the basic summary of my data.

Writing Time

SOL – March

5-6:30 am Monday – Friday

250 – 500 words

Slicing and Commenting

Some days only a slice

The whole point of data is to USE it.  So as a result of “confirming my belief” that even though I was writing every day, my writing time was also being consumed by SOL reading and commenting. My response:  I moved my own slicing time to the evenings to draft and ready my post for the next day. I moved my commenting to intermittent times during the day and met some new slicers and regained my productivity.

March Slicing  Time

Writing Time

After 8 pm for the next day

Drafting & pre-setting publication time

Regained Writing Time 5- 6:30

250 – 400 words

Noted more revision & pre-planning across the day

What data do you collect about your own writing or reading?

Is it formative?  Is it summative?

How do you really use it to make decisions?

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

18 responses

  1. I have to say data turns me off, but when you put the data to good use, I can see the point. I have always tried to write my slice the night before and post in the morning, then read throughout the day. I haven’t checked my productivity count, though. I wonder what my students would find if they did a similar exercise.

    1. Margaret,
      Today’s other data is computer issues. That data I do not log as it drives me crazy and often seems so far beyond my control.

      Food for thought at any rate!

  2. What a thoughtful reflection. I tend to just write and comment, finding time throughput the day. But I’m not teaching every day. You make me think about process.

    1. Diane,
      Trying to think outside the box and “multi-dimensionally! What does my data really say? (as opposed to what would I like it to say?)

  3. I always love your reflections because they encourage me to do some of the same work. I am impressed that you devote 1 1/2 hours + a day to writing! I always slice at night (M-F after work) and comment before, during, and after slicing. Outside of March, I am not a daily writer in general (although I would like to be). I know that my reading falls off a bit in March as a result of more writing.

    1. Erika,
      As I commented on the slices over the weekend, I really thought about the amount of time I was writing and reading . . . A LOT! (And my slicing was not “in addition to” core writing – LOL) 🙂

  4. I have felt like writing has been a bit “uphill” this year myself. Your suggestion to move your designated writing time around is an interesting one! Although, with three little ones at home, I am not sure there is a better time than 5:30 a.m. for me- at least for now! Thanks for the thought-provoking post, Fran!

    1. I like your descriptor “uphill’ as I was just thinking that I had lost a bit of JOY! LOL! Always ideas! 🙂

  5. You are so right, Fran. What good is collecting data if it is not used for better outcomes. When one thing starts cutting into time we usually spend on another project it it time to reevaluate and make changes. This advice applies to all aspects of our lives.

    1. YEP! Writing, reading, life . . . housecleaning, NOT so much! LOL

  6. This is quite interesting! I have never kept any kind of data on my writing life, though I do sometimes keep data on my reading life. Now you’ve got me thinking about what I might track and collect and how I might use that to improve my writing productivity. I also notice that my morning writing time can be completely consumed just reading and commenting on slices so I may need to adjust my schedule too.

    1. I like my Goodreads data for now . . . even though I often miss a text! AND YES, my morning time was spent, writing, reading and commenting, but I was losing those minutes to any real work!

  7. Dear Miss Fran, We read your blog today and talked about your data. We are impressed that you get up so early just to write. Now you are writing at night, too. We also noticed your Blog Stats and all the places your visitors are from. We write at school during lots of different times. We are going to think about keeping track of the times that we write. Thanks for giving us the idea! We miss you. Come see us soon. Love, Your Favorite Second Graders

    1. Dear Favorite Second Graders,

      Thanks for reading my blog and checking out the data. It’s so interesting that NY and CA are the leading “visitor” states.

      I believe writing is important so I write more than once each day and that sounds like what you do as well.

      Sometimes I like to keep track of where AND when I write! I like to be comfortable when I write so that means that I need to have a glass of water nearby. I also need to have my computer plugged in so the battery won’t run out at an important time!

      I miss you as well and hope you are paying attention to your favorite Scooty stories as well. I bet you know a lot of them NOW!

      Miss Fran

  8. Thanks for sharing your data and thoughts. You’ve made me begin to think how I, too, can use my time more productively!

    1. You are welcome, Connie. We all have the same 24 hours. The difference is just in how we choose to use it! 🙂

  9. I’ve naturally fallen into a similar pattern I write at school before I come home, writing for about an hour. I post my blog early in the morning then read slices then, at lunch, and after dinner.

    1. Sometimes just noticing a pattern is “sufficient” but other times I feel the need to be a bit more specific and “test the pattern”. It’s part of my ongoing #OLW – “curious”!

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