In the 100 Day Project, one creates an art project over 100 days. In my case, I declared that I would write a mosaic novel and prove out my work by posting on my blog. My posts were to be lessons I had absorbed from the media I consumed – usually writing related – focused around lessons that enabled me to turn a book shaped object into a novel I was happy to have created.
So that didn’t quite happen. For one thing, “Hey, maybe cannibals” is not a plot. For another, 100 posts in 100 days is tremendously hopeful. I’m calling a close to the project so I can focus on more art creation and a little less churn posting.
I love what I have learned about myself and my consumption tendencies, and I love how much I have to learn.
Planned: 100 topics, 1 novel
At one point I made a throwaway reference to a 300 sonnets problem. Somewhere on tumblr, the-humdrum-gatsby references an English professor who said, “if he writes her a few sonnets, he loves her. if he writes her 300 sonnets, he loves sonnets”. It was easier for me to write posts about writing lessons than to create my stated work. While I’m glad to have this reference repository now, I will admit that it’s easier to create new art when I’m not worrying about writing blog posts.
Actually: 49 topics, 3 essays, 1 novel revision, 1 new novel (started)
I’m amazed at my level of productivity. I have a full time job that is unrelated to writing, there is currently a worldwide pandemic, and as much as this introvert has reverted to the Mona Lisa during quarantine, I will be the first to admit that I have gone a little more than slightly mad. Sometimes I think I’ve forgotten how to interact with actual humans. But look at that productivity.
Favorite: Practice: Read More
I have long interacted with things and people and stuff as though I were analyzing them for English class (sorry people), but writing it down and analyzing my love of museum exhibits reinforced a drive to slow down and take in this new world of pandemic. The streets shut down and so the village went road-construction crazy, so that the whole world outside my window looked like an apocalypse. And I got used to it. If I were to read the street and the construction and my sense of trapped, I would find comfort that I cannot go anywhere while I cannot go anywhere (due to quarantine). A happy ending after all.
Least Favorite: Conversation: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
This had to be my quickest and dirtiest post. There is a single revelation, but I feel it was done better with Conversation: Cabin In the Woods.
Biggest Oops: Confusing Anne Lamont and Annie Proulx (fixed!)
Biggest Revelation: Space: The Joy Luck Club
It wasn’t until I was considering the length of actual mental space that the Joy Luck Club takes up in my memory (a second handshake, years apart from the first) that I realized the power of time within a written work. It has changed how I consider plotting and structuring my work going forward.
First: Structure: Skin Game
I didn’t know what I was doing, and the difference in tone and feeling of work I perceive when I read the post really shows it.
Last: Space: Richard Peck
This was nearly the easiest post to write. At this point I had written 48 posts and gotten very comfortable with joining a wide range of media in leaps and bounds. There are no rules. And so, between the point I wanted to record and the stories in my memories of the media I had consumed, the post spilled out in a lyrical, comma filled mess that needed very little shaping. Probably could have used a little more. Eh.
I’m Glad: Community: Critique Partner
This is one of my most embarrassing and favorite stories of my childhood. At a certain point, my parents decided I should learn to handle my problems myself, and as the story in this post illustrates, there’s a reason kid logic will only get you so far.
I Wish: Space: Virgil Abloh
I wish I had written this post. I will write it someday. I will write about how much I looked forward to the show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and how disappointed I was after I went – right up to the last exhibit. It completely changed how I understood the theme of the show and sat in my mind for months, changing my behaviors and the way I interacted with things and stuff. It was wonderful. I’m still mad. I’ll write this someday.