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.