Just as quietly as I began, I’ve been diligently marching through this year’s 100 Day Project. While it’s certainly not as challenging or time-consuming as last year’s, I’ve been surprised that it hasn’t been as easy as I initially thought it might be. Now that I’ve passed the halfway point, it’s a good time to check in on my progress.
This year’s challenge is to write a sentence or two each day that make an observation without diving immediately into related thoughts or feelings. I fill enough journal pages with the latter, so I wanted to focus on external observations. Although writing in general comes relatively easily to me (compared to, say, drawing), the project is making me aware of how much my writing begins inside my head and gets stuck there. I’m enjoying the challenge, and it has been successful in that it keeps me from going on autopilot as soon as I take out a journal-writing pen.
One reward of keeping all the 100 Day Project writings in one notebook is that it has become fun to go back and read my observations (not always true of my general writing journal, which I rarely read). It snowed on Day 1, Feb. 22, and I’ve seen my observations become more and more about spring in the past 50 days.
Another benefit of keeping these writings separate from my general journal is that it’s the kind of notebook I wouldn’t mind if someone found and read. The notations are personal and probably somewhat revealing, yet do not meander through the deep weeds of the rest of my mind (writings that I would prefer not to share).
In some ways, I feel I’ve come full circle: Before I started sketching, I used to make more of these kinds of brief observations in my written journal. After I started sketching, I made a conscious effort to describe what I saw with a sketch instead of words (which came so much more easily to me). Although drawing is still more challenging than writing, it became such a pleasure that I lost the need to write that way. And now I’m getting back to that kind of writing again, which brings a different kind of pleasure.
Anyone else doing the 100 Day Project? How’s it going?