Thanks to one of my favorite teacher bloggers, Melanie Meehan, for the idea for this post. I am sure you will laugh to see that “less is more’ is also one of my takeaways when you see how long this post is.
I need to stop using time as an excuse. I have the time to do the things I want to do. In December, I started reading and writing in the mornings before work. In January, I added yoga. For January and February, I read, wrote, and practiced yoga before I even got out of my pjs every morning. I was never late for work. I didn’t even wake up especially early. Somehow the time was there. In March, I added slicing—reading them, writing them, and commenting on them. I am not a ten-minute-dash-off-a-slice writer. I am slow. But still, I had time. For March, I read, wrote, practiced yoga, AND Sliced—all before work most days. My blog lay sadly neglected for months before March because “I don’t have time to blog anymore.” But I do. I really do.
It’s all about the list. Maybe it’s a sign of how much my attention has deteriorated as a result of device dependence, but I was so happy every time I clicked on a post and it turned out to be a list. Something about a list is so easy to read and digest. But more than that, something about a list invites readers in, gives us a place to enter and play too.
Three comments a day aren’t enough. I didn’t intend to leave 20+ comments a day this month, but once I started, I couldn’t stop. It was too much fun to read and leave a note for all of these different writers, and it felt like a tangible way to give back to this community that means so much to me in March. It doesn’t take as much time to read and comment on 20+ posts as you might think. I hope more Slicers will take on a larger commenting challenge next year (5 or 10 comments a day maybe?), because the comments create the community. There are still too many Slicers who get just one or two comments on their posts. The undercommented blog post makes me sad.
Less is more. It’s ironic: I far prefer reading short, but I also almost always tend to write long. I try to be succinct, I really do. I definitely tended to skim longer slices myself or even click off to another slice because I just couldn’t commit to reading a very long story. Even though I myself published more than one 1000-word+ post this month. It’s a growth area for me. The art of writing SHORT.
It’s time to change my blog appearance. I didn’t want to spend valuable writing time messing with it this month, but every time I visited my own blog to respond to comments, the tiny font drove me crazy. In draft mode, the font is big and beautiful. Once published, it turns cramped and ugly like a newspaper. I apologize to all my readers who suffered through its hideous style.
I never get tired of reading slices about morning routines or writing processes. My very favorite slices to read combine the two: “here’s my morning routine about how I write a Slice.” I also love a metaslice that analyzes the writing of a specific slice or meditates upon Slicing in general. I’m all over this last day of the month because there are so many reflection pieces along the lines of “what I learned in a month of Slicing.” I could literally read that post every day of the month: “what I learned in one day of slicing”; “what I learned in two days of slicing”; etc. You get the idea. I also love writing posts about morning routines and writing processes and have to limit myself as a writer because otherwise, I would literally write about mornings and writing every single day of the month.
Not enough people wrote about cats this month! There were plenty of posts about dogs, and I enjoyed reading them. But I really want to read about cats. Because cats are sooooo much more interesting than dogs. (Which I believe to be a verifiable, purely objective fact. It takes nothing away from dogs if we all agree to admit that they simply aren’t as interesting as cats.) If you had a cat in your teaser or title, you were guaranteed a visit from me. Also, if you write about your cat, please please include a photo. Or 12. Because cats are also pretty! (I used to tell my son that cats were a unique species because there is no such thing as an ugly cat, but the Internet sadly makes short work of that one. There really ARE ugly cats. But not many. And even the ugly ones are kind of cute.) (This is Zorro, who is not an ugly cat, in a rare moment of repose.)
Something about March makes me feel like it’s ok to write poetry AND expect other people to read it and even enjoy it! I would never EVER presume to do this the rest of the year. There are no poems or even poemish things in my writer’s notebook from April to February. And then along comes March and it’s suddenly full of poemish things. So yes, writing poetry in April might be a challenge I commit to this year. Since there is something in me that seems to want to write a poem.
Slicing feels like permission to play and experiment and to have half-formed thoughts. I think Slicing encapsulates the best things about blogging—things I forget and get away from when I blog for the rest of the year. It’s ok to write to discover, to write quickly, to write about questions with no real answers, to write short, to write really really tiny (like I ever do that. I even turn the six-word memoir into a longer piece!), to write personal, to write half-baked thoughts that really need a little more cooking time.
I really love comments. In March, I catch myself checking my blog repeatedly throughout the day. Do I have any new comments? Exhilaration when I do. Mild disappointment when I don’t. I always tell myself that writers should write and publish no matter what. It should be about growing as a writer, right? We should be willing to do it even without readers, right? There are purely private types of writing that exist for self-expression and self-growth and aren’t meant to be shared, but blogging isn’t one of those types. Blogging needs an audience. Writers need readers. So. Deep thanks to all who read my blog this month and commented. I was excited to read every single word you left for me this month.
I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do next month to keep writing, but I do know that I will be back tomorrow with a very special post that I’ve been working on all month: 31 Favorite Slices, a collection of some of the very best slices I read over the month.