Sunday, October 16, 2016

Five Things I Learned from My 100 Days Project

So for anyone keeping track, back in August, I decided to do a 100 Days Project wherein I would write something every day for 100 days. But my last entry was written on Monday and today is Sunday. That’s basically a whole week where I haven’t written anything here. And I think I’m done—at least with this project. So the real title of this post should be: Five Things I Learned from My 60 Days Project. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. Writing is still my number one. I still do it, in some form or another, every single day—both for my day job and for fun. And doing this for the last 60 days has actually taught me a ton: about priorities and timing and choosing the things that are really important. Here are a few of the things I learned:

You can make time: When I first started this whole thing, I was most worried that I wouldn’t have much time to dedicate to it. I work a full time job, have a house and a family and a whole bunch of other boring life responsibilities. But I found that, since this was something I wanted to do, I could find the time when I needed it—in the morning, after Luca went to bed, on my lunch hour. And I also found that since JB knew how important it was to me, he was up for helping me find the time too. 

Three times a week is a charm: What I did notice though, was that I really only wrote things that I felt were of quality about three times a week. The other days, especially on Fridays and Saturdays, often felt forced—I was doing it more because I had to then because I wanted to. And while I know that sometimes the best things comes out of holding yourself accountable, I also want to be able to put the time into the things I actually want to write. Which is basically how I ended up at 60 days instead of the full 100.

Planning is good: Some weeks I would look ahead and think of the things I could write about. It was good to work sentences around in my head and think about new or different ways to structure things. Those were about where to eat on Cape Cod, and how to wake up early for the gym and what 33 looks like.

But off the cuff works too: But then there were the days when I had nothing and I sat down in front of a black screen and something came out. Some of my favorite pieces ended up being written that way: the were about values we want to pass on to Luca (this is one of my all-time favorites, actually), on the importance of practice, and on being mindful.  

Inspiration is everywhere: That’s a super trite statement, I know. But the truth is it’s the truth. I learned this from my magazine days, but if you’re paying attention, ideas are all over the place. In the moment that makes you stop in your tracks. In a podcast you listened to. In a conversation you had. Hell, in that random thing you overheard or that comment you read in that Facebook group you just can’t seem to pull away from. Of everything this project has made me think about, this is the one I want to keep on hand the most. Realizing that even the most mundane, everyday things are full of inspiration and meaning is the secret to making it all worthwhile, I think.

So here we are, 60 days out, and I’m pretty proud that I’ve kept it up this long. I’m still going to write as often as I can, and I’m so happy that I was able to find this space, to find myself here, over all this time.

It’s been like getting back to the core of things—and now it’s figuring out what it all looks like from here.

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