So, I’m sitting here…ten days in and I am sweating. My mind is jumbled, my heart is racing and I have to remind myself to breathe. What has me so tied up? I am in the midst of a 100 days project and I have writers block.
We’ve all heard of Morning Pages and 30-60-90 prompts, now comes the 100 days project. The 100 days project, for those who haven’t heard of it, was popularized by Yale professor Michael Bierut in a workshop he created where he had his design students perform a ‘design operation’ once a day for one hundred days. Bierut himself famously drew his left hand for one hundred days.
Many in artistic fields have now co-opted the 100 days for their own medium: writers, actors, painters, carpenters, the list goes on. The principle behind 100 days is the ability to see creative process. So often in our work, we latch on to the finished product with little regard (and a lot of frustration!) at the iterations it takes to reach that finished product.
I am part of a writers’ collective and we decided to start a 100 days project with the idea that we would share our process at the end of the one hundred days. Each of us is working on something different – two creative non-fictions, one fiction, two screenplays, and a book of poetry. I’m the poet. And I’m stuck. Which is why I’m sweating. Really, I have no reason to be, I’m just supposed to write, every day for one hundred days, right?
Well, I encourage each of you to do the same. Write. Every day. For 100 days. Look back at the end of one hundred days; not only will you have fostered the habit of writing everyday, but you will have the chance to see progression in your work, how it begins to take shape and form. Respect the unfolding, enjoy it, learn to work with it and before you know it, your manuscript will be sitting in front of you, shiny and ready.
I leave you with a quote from the amazing Toni Morrison, “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
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Laura Clifton is a guest blogger for BookHive Corp.