This writing thing: Slice of Life #28


Write and publish every day. Every single day. Something new. Maybe meaningful. Thoughtful. Precise. Real.

I am not sure how I thought I might do this. I have no idea how I have written for 27 consecutive days. Each morning, I don’t know what’s next. I should find this terrifying, but somehow I have learned to trust that something will come. That I will find the words to tell it.

It’s not that I am bereft of ideas. I have some not quite ideas. Some not ever ideas. Some inklings that I can’t articulate. Not yet. Often it is not to any of these places I will turn but instead to something new that lands. Not a gentle insect with whisper wings that merely rustle. Rather something irksome and irritating. Something that hums, buzzes, crawls about. Draws my attention, feeds me words. I don’t dare flick it away.

Writing daily means thinking differently. Walking around in the world differently. Sometimes, standing still and absorbing. Stretching into the space. Fingertips last. Sometimes, snatching furtively from an experience, stuffing a memory hat full to overflowing. There is a racing heart rate, a gut response to the anxiety that not all of those images will fit and some are bound to fall away. The best ones probably. The ones that can never be found again. Later, pen to paper, trying to recall them all, it is clear that some are truly gone. Searching is like chasing a leaf around in a gust of wind. Is that one you snatch the one you lost? Not likely.

Writing is sitting in one spot and moving through time. Crawling around in other lives. Looking down from a tree you could never climb. Finding a cliff with a view that is endless. Holding all of it in your mind as a whole while noticing each thing for one small moment in turn. The impossibility of that can’t invoke fear but rather issue a challenge.

Writing is ridiculous faith.

Writing brings clarity. Highlights confusion. Writing releases. Reaches out. Closes up. Pulls the world apart. Some pieces are written to be released. Imagine them floating away. Give them your blessing. Others are gathered close and protected. There is so much fragility. It doesn’t feel safe to relinquish them and imagine them unraveling before an unknown reader’s eyes.

What we want to say sometimes overflows. It spills everywhere. The work becomes fussing about picking up what is misplaced. In the wrong order. Completely unnecessary. Like mad dash tidying before guests arrive. Sweeping up, wiping away, smoothing creases.

Other times the words won’t come. They are stubborn. Relishing in not being found. Hiding in a shadow, drawing in their toes when you walk by. If you give up, they hide deeper, grinning at their victory. Feeding on your frustration. But if you turn away, they begin to throw you hints. Soon they will be completely revealed and not so interesting anymore. In retreating, you found something new.

Writing steals time. While you try to capture the world, some of it passes you by. You aren’t where you started. You don’t remember arriving here.

This writing thing is all about words. Knowing which ones. Putting them on the page. Plucking them off. Deciding which ones should stay.

This writing thing.

It’s captivating and it captures.

It lures you to a nest of words.

Bad Irony: Slice of Life

I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post every day in March.

Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.


25 thoughts on “This writing thing: Slice of Life #28

  1. I am more in awe of your writing each time I visit here. So much to love in this piece. Please tell me it took days of thought and hours of labor to create such beauty!

  2. Lots of fun metaphors and images here. Yes, writing is messy. This is my second year doing SOL. Two years ago I signed up for the A to Z blogging challenge, which I skipped last year. I didn’t think I was up for two months of writing every day. This year I’m doing both blogging challenges. Yes, we give something up when writing every day, and there have been disappointments, which I’ll write about on Day 31, I think. I have, however, found my writing this month has taken turns I didn’t expect.

  3. Your thoughts and words slay me. This stuck: “Writing steals time. While you try to capture the world, some of it passes you by. You aren’t where you started. You don’t remember arriving here.”

  4. Wow! You are so talented and your words are a gift. This slice is full of wonder and wisdom about writing. I can’t say which part is my favorite as so many resonated with me. Please keep writing and sharing.

  5. This ridiculous faith
    has no bible
    nor story
    nor martyr;
    only pens
    and pencils
    and ideas;
    We notice, sense
    the world turning,
    and pay attention
    to things we might otherwise
    would forget,
    keeping faith in
    the possibility of

    –Kevin, lifting a phrase to write a poem as comment

  6. I’m glad you wrote, Carrie. Every word you’ve thrown to the world this month has been a pleasure. Most times I have faith that words will come, and sometimes it’s easy, often not so much. I do wonder about that phrase Julieanne pointed out too, that while writing, we’re missing other things. But in March, I keep on. Thanks for a beautiful reflection.

  7. Writing is ridiculous faith – I’m glad that you’ve persevered, Carrie – as Linda said – the words you’ve shared with us have given us pleasure and much to think about.

  8. You always say the right thing with incredible clarity. Writing daily does change how you see the world. I love the way you see the world and the thoughts you put on the page.

  9. Love the paragraph about walking around life differently–that’s what happens for me each March. There’s this alertness and awareness that isn’t always there. Love the use of fragments in this piece, Carrie. So effective!

  10. Ok! Now I must read more of your writing. This piece is so thought provoking, I’ve been right where you speak about! I want to learn how to write like you do. I love what you said when ” if you give up, they (the words) hide deeper.” There is so much depth in this post, I could read this every day and not tire of it.

  11. Your daily writing has moved me to do the same. My children each have a book in which we write daily; sometimes silly, sometimes real, always meaningful. Thanks for motivating me to get writing.

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