Writing for The Pastry BoxPublished 8 years, 3 months past
I’m beyond pleased to note that my second piece for The Pastry Box, “Words, Words”, was published last week. The first, “Sunrise, Sunset”, was published a month before that. (It’s not about what you might think — and yet, and the same time, it is.)
For those who aren’t familiar with The Pastry Box, it describes itself thusly:
Each year, The Pastry Box Project gathers 30 people who are each influential in their field and asks them to share thoughts regarding what they do. Those thoughts are then published every day throughout the year at a rate of one per day, starting January 1st and ending December 31st.
It’s become much more than that, in my eyes. In a lot of ways, The Pastry Box has become a place where writers feel free to stretch themselves and their writing, and to look at themselves and what they do in new lights. It’s an incredibly valuable resource. There are thoughts in their archives that touched, moved, and changed me.
I was invited late last year to be a contributor to The Pastry Box in 2015, and of course I said yes. I accepted the invitation for a couple of reasons. The foremost reason is, of course, the honor of being a Pastry Box contributor. Over the past few years, they’ve had some of the greatest minds and writers of our field participate. That’s even more true of this year’s roster, and I am completely humbled to join them. The fact that this is the last year of The Pastry Box wasn’t actually a factor, as I’d have said yes in any year.
The second reason is that I’m very interested to see how I write in an environment where there are no comments. No doubt this marks me for an anachronism, but it has literally been decades since I wrote for an online outlet that didn’t support reader comments. That ever-present feedback channel is something I value, which is why I still support comments here, but I’m sure it’s affected how I write. Not negatively, or even necessarily positively — it just affects the writing, or so I believe. Over the course of 2015, I hope to find out if I’m right about that.
If you’d like to follow along, please follow The Pastry Box via RSS or Twitter (or both, as I do). Not just for my few thoughts, of course, but for all the amazing contributors this year. Already there have been insightful, funny, and deeply personal stories, and a new thought comes fresh-baked every day. That’s why I’ve followed them in year past, and why I am still amazed and honored to be a part of their final year.
As another Pastry Box contributor this year, the honor is all mine. I feel lucky to be in the same sentence as writers like you, and it makes me fret about not bringing my A game every single month.
Thanks for being willing to push and stretch yourself and your writing this year — and for sharing it with all of us.
The irony of commenting about my support of not having comments is making me giggle as I write this.
The Dish, Andrew Sullivan’s long-running blog, stopped publishing new articles last Friday. It was known for never having a comment section and I think it made for better reading. Instead, he was rigorous about publishing dissent. To massively paraphrase Clarke, “The comment section of any sufficiently popular site is indistinguishable from garbage.”
Of course, there are exceptions, but they are few and far between. I’m not convinced that comment sections increase ‘engagement’ or serve as proof of anything other than the ability to rile up others.