the development of events by chance in a happy way
I slice like I do most things—intense reading, then flying by the seat of my pants. I see what comes up, what strikes me, what feels like it might like to be written today. I start a piece that isn’t right for today, shift gears when I get stuck. So much depends upon serendipity—reading just the right words in a mentor text, finding just the right slice to ignite my own, looking in just the right direction to notice the thing that’s searching for to be written today.
a ring or loop in a chain
Together, every March, we write thousands of slices, and they become a web of writing, one piece igniting another, answering another, inspired by another. I couldn’t slice without linking to the writing that makes my writing possible. Each day the list of links at Two Writing Teachers offers the possibility of hundreds of mentor texts, any one of which might be the piece I need in order to write today.
composed or uttered without previous preparation
I know that I will write 31 pieces in March, but from day to day, their topics and forms surprise me. I thought today that I was going to write about Black History Month, but here I am writing an acrostic about slicing. These pieces have to be quick. I don’t have much time to plan. I don’t have time to polish to perfection. Slicing is ultimately a gift for the writer who never feels like a piece is ready to publish.
a feeling of fellowship with others
When I first began slicing, it was to live like a writer for a month, to recommit to the habit of daily writing, to develop my craft and find new writing territories. And I still appreciate all of those byproducts of slicing. There’s no real downside to writing every day. But for me now, the point of slicing isn’t to live like a writer: it’s to live in community with other writers. I am so happy to see all of my writing friends again this month and know that I will make many new friends through this challenge.
absence of difficulty or effort
I remember how effortful and anxious those first two or three years of slicing felt. Last year, I figured out a process that worked for me: reading a few slices each day with an ideas file open on my computer to borrow from mentor texts, playing with form, accepting that most of my slices are going to be about coffee, cats, and writing, waking early to write so that I can be done for the day or, if a slice proves particularly troublesome, have more time to work out the problems. I wouldn’t say that slicing is easy for me now; writing will never be easy. But now I do seek a kind of ease in it.
This acrostic was inspired by Terierrol’s March acrostic.