A few years ago I came across a site called 100 Words. (First of all, if you use Firefox, you might not want to click that because it causes 18 kinds of havoc for me on FF, but not on IE. Go figure. Second of all, it was 2005 when I discovered it - how did 2005 get to be THREE years ago.) The point of the site is to write 100 words each day. Just 100 words, no more, no less. See those 100 words about baseball in the sidebar? That's where those came from. I did a lot of different stuff - lists, a 100-word poem, storytelling, reflections on the day.
The site makes for interesting, if not brief, reading. There's something that draws me to these nuggets of writing, these tidy packages. Some might find the constraint ridiculous or too limiting. I found it strangely freeing, though. I'm sure many writers can identify with the apprehension of facing a blank page and knowing it needs to be filled. The 100 word limit takes that away, plus the need to hone my thoughts to fit in that very precise box proved to be a good writing exercise.
I only managed to complete one month, and as fate would have it, that month is one of the few they don't have archived for some reason. Luckily, I saved all my entries and the other day I stumbled across them, so I thought it might be fun to share a few.
Tonight I was browsing the journals at Barnes & Noble looking for something new for a project I have in mind. It's amazing how the journal market has grown, isn't it? Not only are there blank books in every style imaginable, but there are also any number of books with pre-printed writing prompts and idea starters. Tonight I wisely skipped the "Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul" blank book in favor of a soft-cover 5x8 ruled Moleskine, but I have not always been so immune to the lure of the themed journal, as this 100 Words entry will attest. (And y'all can feel free to overlook the fact that I just introduced a 100-word piece of writing with about 5 times that many words.)
25 August 2005
I have this cheesy “creativity journal” with one thought prompt per page and space to record deep, meaningful insights. One page asks “If you could be a car, what kind would you be?” There’s something so Barbara Walters about it that I have to laugh. Suddenly I’m Katherine Hepburn at my desk, pen poised above the journal, one foot tracing invisible circles at the end of an impossibly deeply cuffed pant leg, thinking “do I really have to answer this shit?” Maybe one day I’ll record here what I wrote there. But anyone who knows me already knows the answer.