Tuesday, March 15, 2022

The list

Day 15 of 31 at TWT!

 Hmm, what should I write about today? I try to start brainstorming in the tranquil 20 minutes between coming home and getting Sweetie from the bus stop, but no particular story is tugging at me today. 

Often during March (or on the rare Tuesdays that I actually remember it's Tuesday), a slice (or even 2 or 3!) will jump out at me sometime during the day: a special moment or beautiful scene that I consciously try to slow down and freeze as it happens, mentally rehearsing the details in an attempt to remember it as vividly as possible when I have the chance to sit down and write later. 

Other times, an idea has been sitting in my head for days or weeks, just waiting for the chance to be written. Or a past memory pops up, begging to be remembered in story form, perhaps ushered in by a song, picture, or other small occurrence in the day. 

Of course, there are always days (especially in mid-to-late March!) when I don't know what to write. Some days, I don't feel like writing. Other times, like today, I want to write, but when I toss ideas around, nothing feels quite right. 

That's why I have the Blog Ideas List, my faithful companion through these 11 (is it really 11?!) years of blogging. Once housed in Evernote, now just a Google Doc, my ever-growing list is a messy, living combination of bulleted topics, details I want to include in those topics, half-written sentences and paragraphs I don't want to forget, notes to myself that nobody else would understand (even some that take work for future me to decode!), and mentor text links to blog posts that inspire me or that I want to try to emulate someday. The slicing topics section is most extensive, but there are also sections for other posts I want to write about my teaching (in the mysterious someday in which I somehow have "more time", hahahahaha). 

And sometimes, like now, I set out to write one slice and discover that, as I travel the winding road of writing, another one writes itself instead, and what I thought was going to be an introduction is already an entire post. So I tweak the post title (if I've written one yet) and add another note to the list!

Living as a writer means an ever-growing list, just like living as a reader means an ever-growing to-read stack!


  1. I appreciate the writing about writing. A blog list is a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great, Jennifer. I like the idea of having a Google Doc idea list. I'll be starting that because you should see my list now. I make a note of the person who inspired me on my paper calendar on the day I read their post. I have a few of those this month, but no other list so far. Today I'm changing that and starting a Google Doc.

  3. Haha, I already have eight things on my new list! Thanks, Jennifer.

  4. I enjoyed reading this slice about how you slice. I keep a messy Google doc too. This year it looks a little different since my theme is finding inspiration in other slicers. It's just links to posts that give me an idea I might want to write about. I never get tired of that process of setting out to write one thing and ending up writing something quite different. Writing really IS about discovering what we think!


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