100 Days Journal

The Second 10 Days #100DaysJournal

A quick update on my 100 Days Journal project.

First, I’m happy to announce that, yes, I’m still going! It’s very rare that I can stick to any kind of time commitment-based project. I don’t know why. The structure is actually helping me this time, though, and I think my positive success (so far) is in large part due to the fact that I’m accomplishing writing as a part of this project.

My reading challenges, for example, often suffer because a) I’m going to read no matter what, so why force myself into constraints about what type and how much? and b) I end up doing too much reading for my writing habits to keep up with, find myself with a stack of books to review, and decide to throw my hands up and say, “forget it!”

In my first 10-day checkpoint review, I noted that I’d been doing a lot of self-criticism. I think I’m still doing that, but something else has happened, too. While I’ve been noting a lot of places where I continue to struggle, fail, or disappoint myself, the tone of those criticisms has changed somewhat. For example, I often added a little more explanation about why I was failing at something, or how I might improve. So, perhaps one of the benefits of this journaling project might be to combine self-reflection with self-improvement. There’s an idea!

I’ve also found that I’m writing a lot more about my goals, and manageable ones at that. Just this morning, for instance, I wrote 5 things I would like to achieve by the end of the year. Some of them will be terribly difficult, one or two of them super easy. It seemed helpful to make a list for myself so I could see what really is important to me right now, what will make me feel like a success, and where I can find a balance between “easy” improvements/accomplishments and more challenging ones.

Here are the last 10 prompts:

  • Day 11: If you could solve one big world problem, what would that be?
  • Day 12: When you feel bored, where does your brain wander to?
  • Day 13: If you weren’t concerned with what other people thought, what would you like to be doing with your life? (this was a zinger!)
  • Day 14: What did you want to be growing up? Why?
  • Day 15: Describe your earliest memory.
  • Day 16: Where in the world do you have no desire to travel? Why?
  • Day 17: When are you happiest in relationships?
  • Day 18: If you could choose jobs for your child, which would you choose? (I had to work around this one, since I’m not a parent.)
  • Day 19: What don’t you have enough time to do? Why?
  • Day 20: What is something not many people understand about you? (this one was painful.)

Working from prompts has been really helpful, but to be honest, I modified almost every single one of them in some way, or found a way to answer the prompt while also writing about whatever was already on my mind that day. It’s been an interesting exercise in thoughtful synthesis, so far! Onward!

Feel free to follow along with my #100DaysJournal project on Twitter!

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100 Days Journal, Journaling, Personal, writing

The First 10 Days #100DaysJournal

ScribeDelivery

Sometime in early February, I signed-up for a monthly subscription service called ScribeDelivery (only my second such service, but gosh, I might be getting addicted!) This particular subscription delivers journals and pens to my door once per month (and, I’m told, sometimes other items as well). As I was planning to begin my journaling project and to dive more fully back into writing, I thought this kind of monthly “treat” would be an awesome motivation and reward. My first package arrived yesterday, at last, and I’m pretty thrilled!

This one is, I believe, a bit larger than normal. The accompanying note explains that it’s a “first delivery” kind of package, so I think there are a few more items than usual. That said, it’s a great way to begin. As the image reflects, I received one regular size, Italian journal that has a bookmark and pocket; I set of “4 seasons” small journals, one with a cover design and color to match each season; two small “write it down” journals, and 4 pens (which are described as “Japanese pens” in the welcome letter, but some of them seem pretty typical to me. The fountain pen is a cool addition!)

Overall, it was a long-awaited and super fun package to open. I should mention that I already have a couple of concerns. The first is that the package took a long time to arrive and the reason for this wasn’t clearly articulated in the first order email. I tried messaging the company via Instagram, because that’s where I first connected with them and because the website didn’t have a clear contact area, but I got no response. I tried again with no luck a few days after, and then tried email and Facebook. It took about a week, I think, to get a response. The first reply came after my second question to them on Instagram, and it simply told me to check back on Facebook because someone would reply there. Uh, okay. So I messaged again on Facebook, and then got a canned response there and the same response to my email, on the same day. Awesome?

The second concern is that all of the items came in a simple bubble bag mailer. It’s possible the company is still new and working things out, but I was honestly expecting better packaging, not just a bunch of items slipped into a bag, free to slosh around (and, you know, there are pens — how easily could these poke through and fall out?) After checking the reviews, I noticed that comments about the packaging have been left in the past, with that very concern expressed (missing items), and that some have raised concern that their packages are pretty basic for the price. So, I’ll keep an eye on this, but I’m ready to give them another shot, partly because the first package was so cool and partly because I still love the idea of getting a monthly writer’s box!

100 Days Journal Update 1

About a week and a half ago, I mentioned that I was starting a new writing project that I’m calling “100 Days Journal.” It is just what it sounds like: 100 days of journaling. The hope is that it will accomplish a few things: 1) help me establish an effective routine; 2) help me practice and enhance my writing skills; 3) help me reveal to myself some of the things I should be writing about more in-depth.

Every 10 days, I plan to post  a little update right here on the blog, for posterity and for whoever might be interested in what I’m doing or who might want to try it for themselves (I know a few people on Twitter already are doing it.) My first 10 days went “swimmingly,” as they say. It’s the first time in a long time that I managed to write for myself every single day. I honestly can’t remember the last time I did this. I’ve always been the kind to have a good stretch of about 3 or 4 days, and then oops! I think it helps that I had already been getting up earlier than necessary for a few weeks to do other “pre-day” tasks, like reading for myself and taking a walk before work.

Although I’ve been using prompt cards and the topics have been fairly different, I’ve found some similar themes in my first 10 days: motivation, family, fears, and challenges. A lot of my writing has been reflective in the sense that, I notice what has been holding me back in various ways. I commented in yesterday’s journal that I begin to worry if this will be a place where I’m constantly putting myself down. At the moment, that comment seems a bit melodramatic, considering the kinds of criticisms I was giving myself were both true and constructive, and that in the 25 pages I wrote over these last 10 days, there is a lot of hopeful, positive, rewarding reflection, too. But I suppose many of us do often see and cling to the negative more easily than the positive, which is what makes any change or growth harder, and scarier too.

The truth is, I’m proud of myself for coming this far, and I’m only 10% of the way into this journey. Imagine how I will feel in 10 days, when I’m 20% of the way in! And imagine what else I might reveal to myself about myself, or what inspirations I might find, craft, or takeaway from these daily exercises?

The Prompts/Topics:

  1. Getting Started / Open
  2. What conversation do you need to have today?
  3. What are three major emotions that you’re carrying right now?
  4. Describe your ideal weekend.
  5. What’s the one thing you’d never do and why?
  6. What 3 people in your life do you envy professionally? Why and do you notice any patterns?
  7. How do you define success, and how will you know when you have it?
  8. If someone has hurt you in the past, write a forgiving letter to them.
  9. What aspect of your life is holding you back right now?
  10. If all jobs paid the same, what would you choose to do?

So, the first 10 days went well, and the prompts led me to interesting places. I answered each of them, but not as directly as I might have imagined. Typically, the answer revealed itself in something else I already needed to write about and which was somewhat related. It’s been a rewarding and healthy process so far. I’m excited to keep going!

 

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