It’s Monday, so that means a milestone with this Hundred Day Project! It means that I’ve been doing this (nearly) every day, and I’m happy about that. It felt good when I got the little email update, knowing that I haven’t flaked out. Normally by now I would have lost steam and abandoned it, but I’ve stuck with this for three whole weeks in a row. A miracle!
But then, of course, I look at the examples of what other people are doing for their 100 Day Project — things like making cute clay sculptures, typefaces, interesting photography… Being creative and artistic and I think, “What am I doing? Writing stupid things that aren’t beautiful or creative, just for the sake of writing every day?”
And then I stop and forgive myself a little bit. No, I’m not creating anything beautiful, but I am writing every day. Isn’t that key? And I’ve been trying very hard to be brief (which is not my strong suit at all) so it’s been an exercise in restraint and craft. I’ve been feeling even more insecure than usual with my writing, and feeling frightened that since I’m getting older, I’m forgetting the details that I used to be so good at remembering and that I’ve always considered the magic key to my work. Those details and memories may all be gone, who knows. My brain is pretty full of other things these days, full of stress and worry and good and joyful, too, but just not what I wore to a party in 1988. But I’m hoping that’s still in there somewhere, too.
Yet this 100 Day Project has filled me with delight, and has made me realize something important. As I mentioned the other day I’ve been off-kilter — I haven’t been able to concentrate, and sometimes I’m not sure if I’m speaking in complete sentences. Last week I was sitting at my desk, starting at an open spreadsheet and thinking, “I can’t do this. I mentally and physically cannot type anything into this spreadsheet.” So I opened up my website and wrote the post about Seventeen Magazine that my friend Sian had given me for a topic, that I had been thinking about all week. It took me about half an hour, but when I hit “publish,” I felt almost ecstatic. It wasn’t a good piece of writing, but that wasn’t what mattered. In that half hour I was writing and loving it, and I remembered something so important and learned something crucial: writing is my love, not my enemy, and it is my tool and coping mechanism — I just need to remember to use it instead of avoid it.
So no, this website/blog/whatever this is isn’t high art or funny clay faces, but it’s mine and I’m doing it, and I haven’t given up. Every day I get to think, “What am I going to post?” And that’s really great. Sure, there aren’t many “views,” but that’s okay. I’m its main viewer, and I see my contents growing and I feel good. To me, that’s beautiful.
So Happy Day 22 to me!
(The above image is something I Googled and found on https://myboundlessthoughts.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/22-things-you-should-learn-after-you-turn-22/, which is nice. I’m way past 22 and I smile gently and nod.)