Friday, March 18, 2016

SOL #19: Nineteen Days Gone By.


Number nineteen, really?

I've written every day for nineteen days.  Some days I've written more, since I don't want to let my book blog commitment fade away in my excitement about Slicing.  I suspect the neck and back pain I've been dealing with lately is a direct result of how much more time I've spent hunched over my laptop.  I started to use a laptop stand and wireless keyboard/mouse, and hey!  Pain has abated!  You wouldn't think of writing as physically taxing, and it wasn't, when I was a young thing keeping handscrawled journals in blank books.

Then again, we had an assembly the other day with a man who has a rare condition in which his joints are all fused.  He is a black belt and fitness trainer despite being told in his childhood that he'd never walk.  There's some inspiration to figure out how to handle my pain and keep working on my passion, eh?

I've taken a few risks in the last nineteen days, pushed myself to try a few new things.  Not a lot--I'm a busy woman, thank you very much, and often I'm writing when I'm too sleepy to innovate.  But I've dabbled in poetry and third person, and dove into the deep end of personal confession a time or two.  Sometimes (*coughNowcough*) I've rambled freely, but other Slices I've actually gone back and revised and edited, trying to polish it up a bit more.

I've also thought about audience.  I work on a big post that I'm really invested in, and it garners very few views or comments.  I toss off six words, and the comments pour in.  What's going on?  Is it the timing of my posting?  Or do people open up my long blocks of text and think, "Mmm, yeah, no," while six word memoirs simplify hitting that three-comment-per-day commitment?  I'm certainly guilty of reading a bunch of short Slices rather than a few long ones on busy days.

I've been book blogging for about nine months now, and for the last year, most of the blogs I've read are book blogs, a mix of lit fans and teachers of reading and writing.  At one point I read adoption blogs, and wrote one too.  A very few of these are literary blogs; blogs written by accomplished writers enjoying the blog format.  Most are written by enthusiasts.  Whether book readers or people in the thick of adoption adventures, the experience trumps the writing.  We're all Word People, of course.  You don't start a blog hobby if you don't enjoy writing.   But most of us are writing to share the topic, not to share our writing.

Slice of Life, though, is different.  People are deliberate about their writing.  The topic is wide-open, and the focus is on writing itself.  Writers play with words, with format, with ideas and styles.  And I'm reading these blogs differently too.  While I'm still moved by the content, I'm going beyond "What did they think of this book?" to "How are they telling this tale?  What is moving me?  How are they doing that?"

Thank you.  Thank you to the organizers of this project.  Thank you to all who participate.  Thanks to anyone who reads, and especially to those who comment.  Nineteen days in a row.  Twelve to go.  I know already that I will miss it, and I'm starting to think about what that means.  Where I want to go with writing.

Written as part of the Slice of Life March writing challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers



14 comments:

  1. I. LOVE. THIS. POST. Thank you for this. I believe you have given us a window in to you as you captured your true thoughts & feelings, and yet in reading what you have written I see a mirror into myself.

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    1. There really is a sense of a community in this, a we're-all-in-it-together feeling.

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  2. It's funny when I look back at my posts - and you're right - some days many comments, some days only a few. I can't figure it out either. And then, I feel like my posts aren't good or relevant. I am not a writer, but I will keep trying. Thank you for the inspiration today.

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    1. Oh, you ARE a writer. I just spent some time on your blog, and it raised up so many memories and connections for me!

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  3. On April 1 the A-to-Z Challenge starts for the month of April. I've done it for a few years now. Here's the link to explain it. You might very well find it a fun way to extend the writing challenge for yourself!
    http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-z-challenge-sign-up-list-2016.html
    Hope to see you there! Lots of writers writing to write are signed up already. I'm number 1200! I'm usually an earlier number, but I mistakenly thought I'd signed up ages ago. Hurry and you could be number 1220!

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    1. I actually signed up for that BEFORE I signed up for the Slice of Life challenge. Luckily I wrote posts A-F in February, so I'll be able to catch my breath a bit between the two. I'll be returning my focus to books, but the structure of alphabetical prompts leaves lots of room for trying new things within that.

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  4. Oh, we would love to have you join us as a regular writer every Tuesday for SOL. I want to come back and explore more of your blog later - I'm always enticed by books and I love the photo on your header!

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    1. I'm pretty sure I will join the Tuesday group. Thank you for stopping by!

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  5. You won't have to stop working on the craft of writing, you can continue every Tuesday to submit that slice of life. There are so many writers that it is easy to slide past posts. I think the blurb you leave is the first bit of intrigue for a reader, then I think length does play a part in getting readers to stay and comment. Don't allow yourself to be discouraged by a lack of comments, especially during this month. Readers will find you.

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    1. Good points about the blurb and length. I'm looking forward to the weekly posting opportunity.

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  6. I really enjoyed your slice! I will miss the March challenge also. The community it has fostered is one of a kind. I'm glad you're part of it.

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  7. You brought up some very good points. You most definitely are a writer - the Tuesday slices are a fun way to write and connect with this community.

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  8. Wendy, you are already a good writer, which is why I often spend a quiet weekend morning with my cuppa and cozy cat catching up on your blog. It goes without saying that I am a bit biased, and since some of my memories are the same as your memories, perhaps my readership has a bit of an advantage as well. Hummingbirds. Agnes and the Cat. A certain little boy.
    I just want to say KEEP ON WRITING. I will be at your first book signing.
    Oh, and I love you.

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  9. Fun post, full of intriguing questions and insights about your writing process and the nature of this challenge. I like the stream-of-consciousness, think-aloud vibe you create as you take stock of your progress so far.

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