100 Days

January 12, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Art

I started writing these essays on January 1, 2008.  I had perhaps twenty pieces that I’d written over a period of years.  I did not know if I had enough to say to write each day.  I didn’t know if there were enough things that would hold my interest.  As winter warmed, I was able to write each day, and I concluded that finding things to hold my interest was not a problem.  There was a delay putting up the site as my firm’s staff member that specialized in WordPress had to get other projects put to bed.  Finally, on April 1, the website posted.  I began with the essay I wrote on the first of January.

The 200th essay is posting tomorrow, except that today is October 9, 2008.  By the time you read this, it will be mid-January, and this one I’m writing now will be close to the 300th essay posted. [As it happened, this is essay 300.]  So, I am always about 100 days ahead of what’s being posted.  Not incidentally, this allows me the time to send them all to an editor to be reviewed.

This delay makes for a number of unique effects.

I restrain myself from using seasonal metaphors because the season won’t reflect the season that the reader will be in.  Also, I don’t talk about the election because it will be over.

Very odd reverberation effects emerge.  In one piece, I talked about that day’s (April) market plummeting almost 400 points.  When that piece posted 14 weeks later, the market posted its worst loss (almost 400 points) since the day I wrote the piece.  I’ve occasionally written about the coming economic meltdown, usually in the context of the dissolution of the myth of Social Darwinism, what we call free markets.  I now find pieces appearing about the coming major crash, and the crash is happening by the time the piece is posted (Remember, for me, it’s October 9th.  What’s in the news today is the first post-bailout discussion of nationalizing America’s banks.)

There are unexpected benefits of this peculiar situation.  The 100-day cushion allows me to not write on any given day (about one or two days a month I don’t write) and the posting rhythm is not interrupted.  I find I can develop an idea over several days with no sense that someone is looking over my shoulder or fear that a multiple-day theme will reach a dead end and leave readers confused or frustrated.  I feel no compulsion to publish everything I write.

Everything I do write gets reviewed several times in the process.  By the time it posts, I feel confident in the work.

Perhaps, most interesting of all, I’ve noted a 100-day echo effect bouncing off the posting of a piece.  Before writing, I post that day’s piece.  Sometimes, something inside me has either changed or there has been a deepening in my understanding in those 100 days.  I often find myself writing on the subject I wrote about 100 days ago but with additional perspective or an enhanced understanding.  Sometimes I see connections not obvious a mere season ago.

I’m finding this expressive format deeply satisfying.  In odd ways I find myself in conversation with myself, a season older.  Strangely, there is enough difference in the two me’s that the conversation often stirs me.

As a narcissist, the medium seems to mate well with my condition.

It seems I’ve found an art form I adore.


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