11 Things about Me as a Blogger: Slice of Life #sol19 1/31

One. I started blogging in November 2012, not coincidentally when I was at my first NCTE conference.  My very first post was called Writing Advice from John Green’s Dad and my mom left my only comment. “11 Things About Me as a Blogger” will be my 1,066th blog post.

Two. The title of my blog comes from a quotation in a Harry Potter novel. You’d think that must make me a huge Harry Potter fan, and I do like the books and I’ve read them more than once. But I’m no mega fan. No HP merchandise or clothing for me, no sorting myself into houses (doesn’t everybody just choose Gryffindor anyway?), etc. I can’t even remember which book the line about the dirigible plum comes from anymore. (Readers, if you know, please remind me!) Also, I have to slow down every time I type dirigible because my fingers always want to type digirible instead.

Three. I started blogging to reflect on teaching, writing, reading, and learning. I still do all those things, but I also have a lot of posts about cats. (This is probably my favorite one, since it’s about my favorite cat. But I also love this thank you note to Zorro.) I also write about parenting, though less and less as my son gets older and I become more thoughtful about privacy issues. During March for the Slice of Life Challenge, I will tackle any topic that inspires a little writing (even bloody noses—which I’ve sliced about twice!) (Even if my son has a bloody nose this month, I hereby vow NOT to write a slice about it. Two bloody nose slices is probably already one too many.)

Four. I try to blog twice a week throughout the year (Monday’s “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading”? reading round-up and Tuesday’s Slice of Life) and every day in March for the Slice Challenge. Last year, I added every day in April for the poetry challenge and every day in December for a haiku challenge with my friend Trina). I like daily blogging challenges, though I am not inclined to write more poetry–at least not until December!

Five. I have a lot of ideas for blog posts that I don’t make time to write. I feel an urgency to write for a few hours or even a couple of days after I find the idea, and then it disappears. I hate losing all this potential writing and thinking.

Six. I rarely use three words when thirteen or thirty-four or ninety-two might work just as well. I know many readers prefer shorter posts (I do too!), but my posts often run long.

Seven. I have been meaning to change the appearance of my blog for three years now and still haven’t done it. I like the font just fine in drafting mode, but once I hit publish, I can’t bear to visit my own blog because the font is so tiny and ugly. Will sharing how much I hate my own blog’s appearance in this post be the spark I need to actually change it? Stay tuned!

Eight. My mother has always been my first reader, and she has read all 1,066 blog posts and commented on many of them. Even when she doesn’t have a comment to make about the content, I know I can count on her eagle eyes to spot the typos and send me an emergency edit needed text!

Nine. I’m always surprised when people I know in real life read my blog. It’s still startling when a colleague stops me in the hall to ask me about something they’d only know about from reading my blog.

Ten. Blogging has connected me to a supportive online community of like-minded teachers who are committed to reading and writing and reflecting on living a literate life. I’ve even made lasting friendships through blogging.

Eleven. Many of my posts, especially slices and including this one, are inspired by other blog posts. Reading and commenting on other blogs is a huge part of the blogging joy for me. I love how someone else’s post will sow the seeds for mine. And then someone will read my post and feel inspired to write their own. And so on.

Thanks to Trina at Trinarrative for the idea for today’s post!


36 responses to “11 Things about Me as a Blogger: Slice of Life #sol19 1/31”

  1. Ms Victor Reads Avatar

    This part resonated with me: Eleven. Many of my posts, especially slices and including this one, are inspired by other blog posts. Reading and commenting on other blogs is a huge part of the blogging joy for me. I love how someone else’s post will sow the seeds for mine. And then someone will read my post and feel inspired to write their own. And so on.

    This blogging community always inspires me! Thanks for this slice idea!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Being inspired to write by other writers is one of my favorite parts of the March challenge. I rarely open my laptop knowing what I am going to write–but it usually takes a visit to just a handful of other blogs to find a seed or a form I want to try!

  2. arjeha Avatar

    I had to smile at number six. I am the opposite. If I can say it in three words I will and I’ll still try to cut it down to two. I do agree with number eleven. Many times I get ideas from the posts I have read. Looking forward to reading your thoughts throughout the month.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      If I could ever get it down to three words, I’d consider it a small miracle! I do enjoy experimenting with some short forms in March as a special challenge!

  3. Ramona Avatar

    Your cat posts are my favorites! And your book posts come in 2nd place. My daughter is my first reader. Welcome back to this new month of slicing!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thank you! I am sure I will write about my cats at some point. I love that your daughter is your first reader. I was just encouraging my mom to start blogging yesterday, and I hope she will!

  4. Lisa Keeler Avatar

    Oh my gosh- I could comment on nearly every one of your eleven points.1066 posts- that is fantastic. Writing about cats… that is on my mind right now as I just said goodbye to my 19 year old cat last week. Long posts- I am guilty of those.I love that your mom is your most faithful reader. Thank you for sharing so much about your blogging life.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Isn’t it amazing how a list like this generates so many thoughts? I had the same feeling yesterday when I read your list–I could have commented on each one! I am so sorry about your cat. We said goodbye to an 18 yr old cat AND our beloved 15 yr old dog in Jan. Not the best January ever! So many conversations with our son about how hard it is to love old pets and have to say goodbye.

  5. edifiedlistener Avatar

    Hi Elisabeth, so lovely to catch up again. About changing your blog’s appearance – I just changed mine recently and while I can’t say that I love the new format, it feels good to have made a change. It showed me that I was capable of changing, of letting go of the familiar. At any rate I look forward to your posts and our exchanges. It’s going to be a great March!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Here’s to a great March of new learning and connections! I am off to check out your new format. (I usually read your posts through Feedly and don’t see the blog itself). I think I’m going to take the plunge and purchase a domain for myself too. That will give me some more options for themes and appearance and maybe I can find a font that doesn’t hurt my eyes! Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement!

  6. mschiubookawrites Avatar

    Love your lists, especially #2 and #8. How awesome that your mom reads your blog! Happy slicing.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Yes, I am very lucky to have such a dedicated, sharp-eyed, and thoughtful first reader! Looking forward to reading your slices this month too!

  7. Juliana Ellington Avatar
    Juliana Ellington

    1066!!! I love ALL your writing, of course, but especially your cat posts, and I’m glad you linked back to the one about Chipolte and the one about Zorro because I was able to enjoy them all over again! I count it as a total treat and gift that I have had an opportunity to read so much about you as a teacher and reader and writer and cat lover and mother and more. The joy makes me teary!!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I am glad you enjoyed the posts about Chipotle and Zorro. You do get photos of Chipotle quite often via text but rarely of Zorro. He’s not as much my cat as some of the others. You are very sweet to get teary over the joy of being my mom LOL. (That’s not exactly what you said, but that’s how I’m interpreting!)

  8. Sonja Schulz Avatar
    Sonja Schulz

    wonderful post! I love lists—and this one is really cool. I look forward to March in large part because I know I’m going to get to read your posts on the daily this month every year! Happy slicing to you and happy reading to me!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      What a compliment! Thank you! I also love lists–and have seriously considered writing all of my slices as lists (especially after I read someone somewhere online discourage Slicers from lists–the rebel in me says I’LL SHOW YOU! ALL LISTS ALL THE TIME!).

  9. hollymueller Avatar

    Hi Elisabeth! I’m excited to reconnect again! I love how your appreciation of your #1 fan comes through in this post…your mom! 🙂 Great idea for a slice – I enjoyed all 11!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thanks, Holly! I felt some trepidation about March and slicing, but after I found inspiration in the second or third post I clicked on yesterday, I breathed a sigh of relief and decided I could do it!

  10. amyjuengst Avatar

    I love reading your blogs, and I enjoy the long form and any mention of your cats 🙂

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I think I’ve managed to work them in two days in a row now!!!

  11. Akilah Avatar

    Hahaha, unlike you, I often say to real life people, “Oh, you don’t read my blog” before going into something I already talked about there.

    I like longer posts, too!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I’m in good company! Too funny about starting with “Oh you don’t read my blog” and launching in.

  12. elsie Avatar

    I love your cat posts! I always wondered about your blog title, now I know, but not really. 🙂 Connections through writing creates friendships that sometimes turn into real life friends. Congrats on so many posts!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Well I can guarantee that I’ll write about cats at least a couple of times! Isn’t it amazing how our writing can connect us with lasting friendships?

  13. readingteachsu Avatar

    The sea is wonderful and even though I’ve read your blog for three years many things were new. I love the blogs about cats and your son along with many more. Looking forward to every day reading.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Such a kind comment! Thank you! I love learning more about all my teacher/blogger friends this month as well.

  14. Trina Haase Avatar
    Trina Haase

    Love this one, like usual! I love knowing more about you as well. It is awesome that your mom reads your posts and left your first comment! I am not sure that my mom even knows I blog!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I think my mom visited your blog today too, LOL. Thanks again for the inspiration today! I suspect we’ll borrow a lot of each other’s ideas this month!

      1. Trina Haase Avatar
        Trina Haase

        She did! That was a really nice surprise!

  15. mrsday75 Avatar

    I always love these posts that help me know my blogging friends better. And I really love this one because I think I might steal the idea!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Ha! Those are the best kinds of blog posts–the ones with ideas we can steal! I enjoy so many of the getting to know you formats that we see this month. Can’t wait to learn more about you this month too!

  16. carwilc Avatar

    OK, I’m trying to get revved up to write my first post, after several months of not slicing, but first I had to see if some of my favorite folks were back writing. And you are! Hurray! With yet another beautifully crafted post! So glad you are writing again this year!

  17. karpenglish Avatar

    Great post that tells about you and your inspiration. My favorite line is “I rarely use three words when thirteen or thirty-four or ninety-two might work just as well.” It cracked me up because I am the same way. I remember working on a joint psychology paper in college with a friend who said “What is with you and all the prepositions? No one needs this many phrases!!!!” Perhaps unsurprisingly, he teaches history and I teach English. I look forward to reading your posts again!

  18. Lara Avatar

    I like the idea of an elaborated list. What a fun way to express your thoughts. I could write a million posts about my pups too! They are easy, because they can’t read and object!

  19. margaretsmn Avatar

    Many of these resonate with me as a blogger, especially number 9. I find it weird when someone I know says something about one of my posts, like, really? You read my blog? I often pretend that no one reads it. That way I get over the fear factor.

  20. gsnprog Avatar

    Thank you so much for sharing!

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