Writing Warm-Up Slice of Life 12/31 #sol16

slice of life

I open my notebook and write for a few minutes, chronicling the day, setting some intentions, writing around potential slices. If I get an idea I think I want to work with, I try out a few sentences. I always need that opening line before I can really start.

I open a book to read. Yesterday, I was reading The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits. It’s a sort of notebook, journal thing, and I thought it might inspire an idea for a slice, but it didn’t. This morning, I started Alan Jacobs’s The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, and I felt so inspired by his arguments in favor of reading. I just knew I had to slice about reading. But when I thought more about what such a slice would look like, it seemed more like enthusiastic cheerleading than a slice. Read for pleasure and joy? Yes! That’s what I think too! Read at whim? Yes! Me too! Read to change yourself? Yes! Of course! Wonderful idea! Love it!

No more thoughts. Definitely not a slice.

I open my laptop and skim through my “Slice Ideas” document. It’s a works-in-progress file where I paste links to topic ideas and mentor texts I might use this month. I’ve also got 10-12 slices in various draft form here. I add a few sentences to a piece I’m writing about my son and his friends called “Bad Kids.” I move the puzzle pieces in “13 Things I Wish Teachers Understood About Trauma,” but it’s still no closer to clicking and working.

I open my browser and check my blog for comments. I haven’t responded to comments in a couple of days, so I respond to everyone’s comments from yesterday. I don’t know how to keep up with commenting on other people’s slices, responding to comments on my own slices, AND writing new pieces this month. I realize that yesterday I only commented on two slices and the day before, I didn’t comment anywhere. It was a derailed kind of day, where I spent about six hours dancing with trauma and trying to regulate my son. But I did publish a slice!

I vow to comment more today, to make up for the missing days and do some extra too. I know how much comments mean to me, how they keep me writing, how they sometimes inspire new pieces.

I visit Two Writing Teachers, determined to start commenting right now.

The first post I visit is Karen’s Weekend Writing Warm-Up. And suddenly I know what I want to write for today’s slice.

Thanks to Karen at Literate Lives for today’s inspiration!







7 responses to “Writing Warm-Up Slice of Life 12/31 #sol16”

  1. carriegelson Avatar

    I am always so interested when you say that you need that first line. It makes me think about my writing. I don’t think it is the first line but rather the title that I keep wanting to capture before the piece can get written. Happy #sol16 reading today!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      And often, it doesn’t end up being the first line of the published piece anyway. But it’s a first line that gets me writing the draft. I smiled at what you said about titles. Titles and endings are the hardest part of every piece for me. I often try to find a one-word title for slices.

  2. Tara Smith Avatar

    Ah, slicing – this is when it starts to get tough – I feel as though I’m running out of ideas and energy to comment. It will pass….

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Good to know it will pass, Tara. I have been having this feeling pretty strongly myself. I do think that the more I comment, the more inspiration I have to write. So many wonderful ideas for writing everywhere!

  3. Carol Avatar

    Great minds must think alike. I almost wrote about my slicing process today. This year, about a week before slicing started, I thought of 13 different topics I wanted to slice about. I haven’t used one of them!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Isn’t that funny, Carol? I have only used a couple of my original ideas too. I hope you’ll write that slicing process piece. I LOVE reading about other people’s processes.

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