Prelude

I’m trying something different this year. I’m one of those people who wants to be a writer but rarely actually writes. So for the last few years, one of my New Year’s Resolutions has been to fix that. Each time, I imagine writing beautiful, long-form essays on complex topics. They’d be rigorous and well-crafted. But all that resolve and imagination has led to a grand total of four posts published in the last two years.

So this year, something different.

I’m going to publish 100 words every day for the next 100 days. 100 words on any subject, in any form. I’m inspired by friends who have taken on similar projects, whether to produce a podcast, or take a video every second for a year, or do 100 days of handlettering. Whatever the thing was, they just did it.

Why this project?

I enjoy writing while I’m writing, but I get tripped up at the beginning and the end. I have a hard time getting started, and I’m always wary of hitting “publish.” I’m hoping that this structure will help address those issues.

Why 100 words for 100 days?

I think these rules will serve two purposes. First, it lowers the bar for publishing. It’s only 100 words, and the expectation (my expectation, at least) is that these posts aren’t meant to be fully formed. They’re going to be quick thoughts, questions, concerns, critiques — whatever comes to mind. I hope I’ll write those beautiful, long-form essays some day, but I need to start somewhere.

Second, it makes writing a game. Publish 100 words for 100 days and you win — that’s the long game. Along the way, the game is to make some cogent point in 100 words. In both cases, you win the game by writing, and all writing counts. I just think that’ll be fun.

Why do this publicly?

This is the last question I’ve had to answer for myself. Why do this in public? Why not just journal? The answer, I think, is what makes this important, and important now. In work and in life, I have a habit of applying so much self-criticism to my work that I self-censor. Concerned that my writing is unoriginal, uninteresting, or simply wrong, I hold myself back from putting things out there. I get in my own way. So I’m making this project public to chip away at that tendency. I hope that by publishing regularly, I’ll make some slow progress towards finding my voice.

How can you follow along?

I’m glad you asked! If you’re a Medium user, you can follow this publication. Or, if you’d like my 100 words delivered right to your inbox each day, you can subscribe to this newsletter.

With that, let the project begin. You can read the first post in the series here.