Day 200: Umm…Day 200.
I said it 100 days ago, I’ll say it now and I’ll probably say it in another 100 days: I didn’t think I would get this far. That’s obviously not true, or else I would’ve given up a long time ago or never started at all. It’s just crazy to think about how impossible it felt to write a year ago, compared to how easy it is now. I don’t even have to think and my hands do the writing. See? I have no idea what I just wrote, but I’m sure it was a complete sentence. I’ve also discovered that I can write anywhere and nobody would notice the difference. Right now I’m in the bathroom. Now I’m in my office. Now I’m in some dark corner. That’s the magic of writing! I’ve written whole pieces on the train and some while walking. This project reminded me that location is important but not always vital while writing. It’s reminded me a lot of other things and has really helped me grow as a writer.
When I started out, I was fueled by hits. Call me a narcissist, but my desire to write was always based on how many people would read it. As soon as something was poorly received, I’d dig myself a hole to hide in for weeks or months. This project has taught me to pay less attention to the statistics. This is a marathon and it’s just as taxing to read my bullshit every day as it is for me to write it. That said, I’m still kinda bummed that my essay on how to spell boobs got no traction, as well as the story about a time that I did a bunch of drugs and stared at the wall. But by and large, I know that every day this will be read by my Mom, wife and 8 other random people. If I write about wrestling, the number gets cut in half. That’s life and it’s not going to stop me from writing about whatever the hell I want. I’m doing this for me now and it makes a whole world of difference.
I feel like in ways, I’ve gotten much better at dealing with writers block. I’ve been pretty good at falling back on faux-poetic pieces about nothing or just writing a random number of words about a random object. Some days, I can just start typing on a blank page with no plan and end up having something in a half hours time. It’s such a wonderful feeling to fill out a page like that. It’s almost kind of a high, except it doesn’t make me feel different at all physically.
I didn’t discover the true value of this project until last Friday. I had really given it no thought at all. I knew in the back of my mind that my Dad was about to retire and suddenly, at around 8:00 at night, it came to me. I started writing, despite the fact that I was also trying to close up shop. At 9, I kept writing while walking to the train and didn’t stop typing until I had to unlock my door. My mask was still on when I switched to my laptop and I was done by 10:45. The end result was one of the best things I’ve ever written. 3 hours before, I didn’t even consider writing it. And it was already done. My hands were shaking for hours afterwards. I didn’t know how I did it.
What I did transcended the creative process. I wasn’t writing. I was transcribing. It was as if I was plagiarizing myself. As if the entire thing was already written before and stored in my brain for easy extraction. But it wasn’t. It was done so easily because I had forced myself to write for almost 200 days prior. I can fill a blank page with bullshit no problem. But when I’m actually legitimately inspired, nothing can stop me.
And if that’s the case, I don’t know if I ever want this project to end. I had kicked around the idea of extending it to 420 days. That may or may not still happen. I might start a different venture. Or maybe I’ll still write everyday but stop counting like an asshole. I don’t know yet. Nobody does. There are three things I know for sure:
1) Day 368 will be my long-awaited dissertation on onion transport
2) Day 369 will be the start of the thing I meant to write in the first place, but decided to do 368 things first
3) I am eternally grateful for your readership and support
And that’s not something I take lightly. I really could not have done this without you. I get no joy from writing in a journal, I like having my creations out there for the world to see. So if you’re one of the random people that read regularly or even if you only read the popular ones, thank you, thank you, fucking thank you.
We’re in this together. Whether you like it or not. [Actually, if you don’t like it, you can bail whenever.] Only 169 days left. Buckle the fuck up. Here we go.