The 100-Day Project is here!
One tiny beautiful thing each day
It’s almost time! I’m kicking off a new 100-day project tomorrow, and I’m so excited to be diving into this creative adventure with our beloved community!
In the last few days, I’ve heard from hundreds of you about what you plan to do for your project. (And if you haven’t come up with yours yet, it’s not too late.) Some of you are journaling, some nature walking, some drawing or painting, some planting seeds—literally one seed a day for 100 days. Glorious. I’ve loved seeing the breadth and depth of your ideas and also fielding your questions about the how and when and why of the project, as they’re really the essential questions about the creative process.
Like this question from a community member named Carrie: “How do I rip off the seal and begin?”
It’s a little different for everyone, but for me, it goes like this: In the lead up to a 100-day project, I always feel excited and a little jittery—it feels like the first day of school. I like to get my workspace set up, which right now is going to be the coffee table in the borrowed apartment where I’m staying. I’m also reminding myself that it’s important not to put pressure on myself, which will make this feel daunting.
Today I contemplated how to leave a gift for tomorrow’s self. I have an ambitious painting in mind, one with lots of little elements, and the composition and perspective have been thwarting me. So I looked for a small, manageable way in. And I’ve decided: tomorrow, on Day 1 of 100, I only need to paint the cat. It may be that I paint more—but if I do, I’ve exceeded my expectations, not undermined them and thereby discouraged myself.
To cultivate a sense of accountability in this first week, I’m planning to text Carmen and my mom once I’m done with my daily creative act, not for feedback (make a note of that, you two) but more proof of life. Maybe your version of accountability is with a similar buddy system, maybe it’s checking the day off a calendar, or maybe it’s something more public, like posting your creations to social media. But whatever you do, please know, this project is for you, and we’re always here to support you.
Before I go, I have a little question for you: I’m thinking about posting discussion threads where our community can connect and share more about the experience. Does this feel like a good idea? What would help guide you during these next 100 days? Let me know in the comments below.
Can’t wait to start creating with you,
P.S. This project is free, and all are welcome. If you’re interested in extra support, become a paid subscriber ($6/mo) to receive periodic check-ins, pep talks from me, and opportunities to have your work featured. If a paid subscription feels out of reach, just email me. No questions asked—we’ve got you.
P.P.S. Some of you have been asking about sponsoring scholarships, which is incredibly generous and kind! If you’re interested, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am going to re-engage in my goal to fold 1000 origami cranes. Only 10 a day over 100 days seems so doable. While I am folding, I can brainstorm about how to display them when I complete the 100 days. I am so excited to start this. I have already folded some, so I have a built in compassion valve.
Hello IJ community! Better be thoughtful about my serious procrastination for starters. I am joining you all in this very special 100 day project. I am Salsa from Suleika’s book and consider many of you who share here brilliant minds. I marvel at the creative genius I see in print from you each day, your tender mercies, your delicate spirits, your collective and individual courage, strength and wisdom. I cannot put this off with this wonderful spring about to unfold so here is my 100 day project: I have ten grandchildren and I am going to record in my very own IJ journal “Wisdom from an Aging Tutu.” I have always wanted to write for children and there are none so special to me as my own tribe. For 100 days, I will share my life’s musings, lessons, failures and successes with my grands. One of the dearest possessions I consider irreplaceable is my own Grandma Billie’s daily journal of her life as a rancher’s wife in Montana. My one rule of engagement is to choose my 100 days-to free myself from the constricts of time.
Yes I enthusiastically say to checking in on us, Suleika. I pour over every word you write to us and this will be a huge gift to all who share here and love you bone deep.
I recently purchased a journal from the IJ project that Ms. Anne Francey painted so my first carrot will be her art. My second will be to continue to sit at this crowded table with a community I have come to love, beginning with Suleika-my fierce friend, mentor and sage. Oh how I cherish you!