And Press “Pause”

Today is the finish line for the 15th Year Slice of Life Story. It’s been a great run. I have not missed a day, and while I have definitely pants it close a couple of times this month, this is the first year I was never in danger of missing a post for 2022. I must say, that’s a pretty good feeling. Alas, another 31 days and flavors is in the books. Off to the next big thing, right. Hmmmm, not exactly.

Usually I go straight from the Slice of Life Writing Challenge straight into National Poetry Writing Month as I have done for the past several years.  

However, there are 18 items sitting in draft mode here on WordPress alone. Some are partially done poems needing tweaking, some essay ideas to be fleshed out, three are nothing more than a couple of lines of an idea I want to work with at some point. There’s a book I’ve been working with off and on for a couple of years. There’s my fanfiction. And let’s not talk about the literal pages of ever multiplying plot bunnies clamoring to be fleshed out into something more. Thus, I know it is not because I do not have anything to say. Because in spite of Muses best efforts to get as much out of me and onto paper, canvas and pixels, it’s all bottle-necked. I don’t like that for all my output, the things I want out the most are not getting out there. And I don’t know why.

I don’t like not knowing.

I do consider myself a decent story-teller, and yes, it pleases me that some want to hear/read what I have to say whether in poem, prose, essay, blog or my Verbal Diarrhea Diaries, but I also feel something of a responsibility to that which will remain behind in these pixels long after I am gone. Because one edict I did have is this: if I felt strongly enough about something to put it out there, even if I must apologize later [and as a Virgo who abhors being -gasp- wrong, believe me, I avoid being in that situation like it’s plague], I may edit or tone it down, but I do not take it back.

Noticed that did in there?

It is that responsibility, where I have increasingly found myself thinking of better ways to express a thought coherently only after I hit ‘publish’, which has me galled to no end. Between the bottleneck mentioned above, and this lexical lethargy has become increasingly worrisome and hit its head earlier this week. La Impostrata, a personification of the Imposter Syndrome coined by fellow blogger and real life friend GirlGriot, struck big time and for the first time ever I trashed something I wrote. No, I did not return it to draft mode to be pondered over and reworked for another time – I trashed it. And then trashed the trash can in my perturbment. I can all but hear writer friends of mine gasp in the horror at this cardinal writing sin. I know, I KNOW! I sincerely apologize to you for that horrid lapse in judgement. But mostly I apologize to myself because as a person who has files with snippets of discarded writings in the belief it will be used elsewhere later, I damn sure know better. I am ashamed of myself. Something has to give.

So rather than submit myself to another month of more writing pressure, I’m choosing to press pause on challenges for now. I’m going to step back and sit out this year’s National Poetry Writing Month.

Oh, I will still write and post poems in April, fret not (not that those who know me were). There is no way Calliope, Erato or Melpomene are easing up on me. It just won’t be for the next thirty days straight. Naturally, I’ll be here on Tuesdays for our weekly slices.

I want to feel comfortable in what I write, whether it is poems, blogs, short stories, flash and fan fiction. That the something I say that makes sense. Sometimes I need to write because I feel confident that what I say that will inform or entertain others and sometimes I need to read so that I can be better informed and entertained myself. What I will always need regardless, are times when no matter what is going on in my life I pick up my pen.

I’m simply allowing myself the grace to ease up on the writing pressures I put on myself.


We made it! Day 31 of 31 – Let’s see how others are slicing it out this final day of the challenge.

15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge

15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

11 thoughts on “And Press “Pause”

  1. This is such an honest, bare, whole piece of writing. I think you are doign what is right for you- there can be no bigger strength that that. Enjoy your month of writing poetry in April!

  2. Sometimes we just need to scale back. No one knows you better than you. You need to come first and then everything else will fall into place. I really enjoy your posts, your wisdom, your humor, and your kind and encouraging words on my posts. Thank you. See you next Tuesday.

  3. Having read only a few of your slices, your writing has stood out to me, mainly because it is so unflinchingly honest. What a superpower as a writer to be able to tell your truth, not about what you think people want to hear but rather what you need to say. The world needs more writing like yours, and I’ll definitely be popping in to bug you. Glad you’re taking care of yourself, you’ve earned it! 🙂

  4. I echo Radutti’s thoughts about the honesty of your writing. I’m glad you’ll be here on Tuesdays (when you can) and also impressed that you are taking care of yourself and your muse. Powerful choices.

  5. Well.

    I for one will still be here, waiting to soak in whatever you-ness choose to put out into this world, whenever that may be.

    As for those obstacles, as for that whatever-it-is that stands in the way of the story dust-bunnies that multiply, those projects that need air but aren’t yet finding their way there, I guess the only thing I can say is that I have perfect faith in you. When those stories are ready to be told, you can bet there will be folks like me, ready to listen. ❤

  6. What a community of writers! Thank you for sharing the ways that you move through expression. Your slices have lingered in my consciousness as sources of amusement and also inspiration to keep writing. It was an honor to have met you through the SOLSC! Cheers!

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