I’m a morning slicer, always have been. Partly for the simple reason that I’m awake very early most mornings. 3:41 a.m. on Tuesday, for example. What else should I do but slice in the hours before I need to leave for work at 7:00? Waking up so early also means I go to bed very early. It’s a rare night when I’m not asleep by 8:45 p.m. I couldn’t late night slice if I wanted to!
It’s more than sleeping schedule that makes me a morning slicer, however. I also know myself. If I saved slicing for later, I’d go through the day feeling dread and panic. Am I going to have time to slice? Have I figured out what to write about? When can I slice? What if I forget to slice? Wait, what’s my idea again? Oh no, I’m running out of time to slice. And the longer the day goes on, the more excuses I will find for not doing the thing I said I was going to do. By the end of the day, I’m ready to give up any extra commitments if that will get me to bed earlier. Slicing in the morning brings the sweet relief of knowing that I have done what I said I was going to do.
And I will confess that morning slicing brings one other bonus: plentiful comments.
Even though I’ve always been a morning slicer, what has changed over the years is my reason for slicing. At first, I sliced for the challenge of it. Then, I sliced to improve my writing. Now, I slice for the company. Slicing isn’t a challenge so much as a reunion. The community is the best part–and the only reason now that I return each year.
And that’s why I sometimes wonder about late-night slicers. Because we build community through comments. And comments can be pretty sparse for the late-night slicers.
It’s easy to say that comments don’t matter, that we can and should commit to writing even if we’re not getting praised for it. But comments are so much more than praise. We know that writers need feedback and encouragement to grow. This challenge has also taught me over the years that we thrive as writers in community with other writers. The comments, for me, are the heart of the Slicing challenge because comments are where this community lives and grows.
This year, my slicing theme is to find inspiration in the words or formats of others, so when I wake up each morning, I go fishing for a slice. Sometimes I check out the late-night slices from the night before, and I often marvel at what I find there. At the end of their long days, late-night slicers are somehow finding the energy and motivation to write and publish. At a time when I’ve been dead to the world for three hours, they’re creating! Under tight time constraints, watching the clock tick closer to that midnight deadline, they’re crafting beautiful writing that I often miss because I’m a morning slicer.
I’m going to make a point for the rest of this month to liberally comment on slices from the night before and try to extend that feeling of morning community to our night owl writers. If you have a few extra minutes today, maybe you’ll join me?
My theme for Slice of Life 2022 is finding inspiration in the writing of others. Each day I plan to find my slice in someone else’s words or forms. Today’s slice is in conversation with Late Slicer Land–Cheers to showing up! at Little bits of Writing, the next years. (And be sure to read the comments!)