This was it. One hundred days of daily posting to this site. I have really enjoyed the push and focus, and now I look forward to taking the training wheels off and finding a different rythm of writing.
That list of topics I made currently contains 51 items. I have not kept track of the changes, but items have both come and gone so it has been something of a living document. When I sat down and made that list of topics, it did not occur to me that I would only empty the list within the 100 days if I never wrote anything else. For every day with a post on a topic not in the list, my buffer of topics only grew more reassuring, and that in itself became another little encouragement.
The root of this little exercise was reading about Blogg100 back when it ran in March. I thought "How hard can it be?" and, in my typical fashion, started at my own time and place and without any grand statements. Doing first, talking about it later seems to work well for me.
In most ways, it has not been very hard. I have let myself do my own thing and write my own amounts. I think the main thing the motivation of maintaining the streak made me improve was idea gathering and planning. At one point, when I was going to be at a conference for a few days, I wrote four or five posts in advance. More commonly, I often wrote down quick core thoughts of a text and put them as a draft for a certain date. This got me writing down more ideas, but more importantly it made me pace myself. I did not have to write a whole post right when I thought of it, nor did I have to keep it in mind until an appropriate time to write about it came up. Instead I could jot down the idea and basically throw it on a day in the calendar, then stop thinking about it safe in the knowledge that I would see it again at the right time. I would also say this has led to more of focused texts; thoughts on one topic gathered in one text rather than more diary-like texts jumping between thoughts of a single day.
Interplay with podcasting is something I hoped for and also feel happened. Some podcasters I follow also write a lot that I read, and I have enjoyed how their thoughts come up both in text and pod and are clearly processed and refined as that happens. I have both written about things from podcasts and sorted out my thoughts before podcasting by writing about them, and both directions feel productive and interesting. Writing a text after podcasting feels the most natural, and so I think I have more to learn on the writing-before-podcasting track.
So, process has changed. Improved, become more structured if you will. I do not feel my style of writing has changed much, but I do think I have become better at writing more with less perceived effort. The difference is the experience invoking words, finding thoughts around subjects and writing them down.
I am a writer in much better shape now than I was before, even if my exercise (just like my physical exercise) has been classically one-sided.
(The engine purring behind the site has held up nicely too. Needing to be in front of one of my computers actually feels like less of a problem when posting often, simply because the activity is regular enough to deserve proper tools. Had I been a true Ipad-warrior I would have figured out a way, but as things stand it has never been easier to motivate bringing the Macbook around. It is fun to bring good tools when you know you will use them.)