After a workweek where all pretense of balance was shot-to-shit, I thought about finding a forcing function to put writing into the same non-negotiable category of work.
I did some quick research (see Suspended Mass post) and discovered suspects both usual and unusual of groups, classes, workshops, seminars, private tutors –all offered with both in-person and virtual options — designed to help the would-be writer become a writer. Or at the very least become a person who writes.
One group I came across required the participants to commit to writing 100 words a day. I immediately knew that the didactic of that approach was dead wrong for me. And having been around my mental block before, I know that when I have such a strong immediate reaction—the opposite is normally true.
So with the dread of feeling that this could be exactly what I needed I asked myself the basics: How much writing is 100 words? What would I write if I undertook such a thing (as part of a group or not)? What can I say in 100 words?
And as I think that thinking is limited, I went with practice instead.
I started writing pieces of exactly 100 words each. Here are the first 3….
- On One Hundred
One hundred: A powerful, mystical number conferring instant meaning and significance.
One Hundred Years of Solitude is considered the best book title ever; while “What would you do in your first hundred days” is a standard question for applicants from CEOs to Presidents. So I take it that 100 days must be the precise amount of time it takes to demonstrate leadership.
Centennials are exciting for individuals, businesses, and brands alike. So while we don’t like anything old, we know karmic significance when we see it and only a fool messes with that. We’re told to keep it 100.
[I can’t answer as I just hit the 100-word mark]
- On Editing
Everyone knows fewer words are better. Especially other people’s.
Having completed my first 100-word piece I bow to the discipline of keeping it 100. If not saying much, replace 100 words with tweeting.
So piece #1 as a tweet
100 is a magical number that makes things feel important so use it in titles to give your work more meaning & try to hit your 100th birthday
At first it seems trivial-How hard can it be to write 100 words a day? And then you wake up to the fact that they have to be the right words
3. The Tedium of Consistency
After having two exactly-100-word-pieces under my belt I’m beginning to chafe. Like most chafing, it’s the result of great exercise. But if I had to do this daily, while I’d become a better writer, I’d also be jumping out of my skin. It’s not the actual exercise but the tedium of doing it everyday. But as I know first-hand, lack of regular exercise leads to inexorable spread. Adjectives and adverbs spilling over; weakened spine; flabby sentences. There’s no escaping the need to sacrifice immediate gratification of writing anything you want for longer-term happiness through editing. Set fit bit to 100.