May 8, 2019•1,113 words
Could you write every single day for 100 days? Most people find this idea mad. Write for 100 days? Surely my life is not that interesting. I would run out of things to write about.
And that's where the magic lies.
Yes, you will run out of things to write about. So what will you write about then? Ah—that's when imagination begins to explode. That's when creativity reaches its peak. That's when you discover—you're a much better writer than you thought.
Yes, you can write 100 days in a row. And when you do, you'll never doubt in your ability to produce again. You'll never doubt in your ability to be creative again.
The 100 Day Writing Challenge is simple:
At any given time of day, take about 10-20 minutes to let your mind empty onto paper. Just start writing. Write about anything. Unload all your thoughts, and let all the tension you've been hanging onto ooze from your fingertips. It's quite meditative.
Do you know how in the middle of a conversation with someone else, you just think of something to say, to always keep the conversation flowing? So it is with this challenge—your goal is not to win a Pulitzer Prize for literature. Your goal is to keep your thoughts flowing, and simply transcribe the hundred thoughts that flash through your mind at any given moment onto paper.
The secret is to write without discrimination. When a thought flashes through your mind, write it. Be silly. Be incoherent. Write as your mind instructs. The end result will surprise you. The quality of writing that results will be more honest than you've seen of yourself in some time.
I've personally done the 100 Day Challenge on my own Listed blog, and it was one of the most important experiences of my life. I went for about 120 days, and I started with the attitude that there's no way I could ever write for 100 days in a row, and ended believing I could write every day for a decade. It has single-handedly been the most important experience in my blogging life.
How to join the 100 Day Writing Challenge
To join the challenge, simply add the hashtag #100Days in your Listed author title or bio. Or choose your own way to say that you'll be writing every day for the next 100 days.
Writing #100Days is about discovering a deeper, more creative part of you. And it's a wildly exhilarating experience. To kick things off, your first post can be about why you've decided to take on the 100 Day Writing Challenge.
See you on the other side—lighter, writer, transformed, and energized to take on the world.
Some resources to help you on your way:
If the old Disney-fairytale mentality was, find yourself—it's somewhere within you, and the new modern tale is that you must invent yourself, then writing every day is a play on both. Writing is the act of authorship. It's the act of inventing. It's codifying words into stories and thoughts into expressions. When you write, you build worlds. You see reflections of yourself that are not seeable through any other surface. Writing every day for 100 days is in some ways a bootcamp for your writer mind. If you do make it out alive, you come out hardened. You come out proud. And it's a skill that never ever degrades in value.
When you're confident in writing, you become confident in your communication. You convey yourself better. You're less misunderstood. You make better transactions. If you're entrepreneurially minded, you connect with your customer more. You become a better seller. You build a better company. The skill of writing confidently is the same skill as communicating confidently. It's charisma. And it will be one of your most valuable assets.
Seth Godin writes:
One never gets talker’s block. Because you just say what you think. Similarly writer's block is a myth, because you just write what you think.
The secret to writing a daily blog is to write every day. And to queue it up and blog it. There is no other secret.
I haven't missed a day in many, many years--the discipline of sharing something daily is priceless. Sometimes there are typos. I hope that they're rare and I try to fix them.
Over time, the blog adds up. People remember a blog post a year after I wrote it. Or they begin a practice, take an action, make a connection, something that grows over time. The blog resonates with people in so many fields, it's thrilling to see how it can provoke positive action.
It's a sort of therapy for me. A lot of stuff finds itself circulating in my mind, then lingers and pollutes it. It's become exhausting to think, I should write this down, and expand on it to learn more about it, then never following through.
Writing three pages every day is something I learned from The Artist’s Way. At first I thought it would be impossible, that I couldn’t possibly find something to write about every single day. But several months ago, I did this same exercise and found that not only was it possible, it was also extremely easy.
The trick is to write without thought. The cogs of your mind are spinning and producing thoughts whether you want them to or not. This exercise then is about transcribing this free flow of thought on to paper, without judgement.
It’s about the challenge. It’s doing something difficult on a scheduled basis. It’s to keep my mind sharp and on its toes. And in some ways, it’s to prove to myself that even the most ridiculous and rigorous of challenges, if you care badly enough, can be within reach. If it were about the writing, I could have surely prescribed doing it once every few weeks, or per week at most. But everyday?—the sheer madness of it could not help but arouse my always latent sense of competitiveness. Could I beat myself at this? Could I overcome laziness, boredom, volatile supply of willpower, a longing for easiness and worklessness—could I overcome the sick part of me that wants to bring me down, that wants me to give up, that wants me to explore the sick world of failure and what more comfortable challenges it may bring—could I overcome myself and commit to something ridiculous that I know will benefit me in some way were I just to keep it up?