Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

Dearest Little Essay Challenge of Mine

For my 36th year of life, I decided to write 360 essays. I wrote this letter to my essay challenge when I was still in the middle of completing my self challenge.

 

Dearest Little Essay Challenge of Mine,


Okay, you’re not so little. 360 essays for my 36th year of life. Given that I came to this idea 3 months into my 36th year of life, it means 360 essays in 275 days. I’ve written 303 so far. I have 26 days until my 36th birthday.


A dinosaur with an unhappy look on its face sits at a table while writing
"Over It" Illustration by Jackie Schuld

As you know, as the deadline looms, so has my enthusiasm. It’s like the pressure feels real and suddenly the real enthusiasm is fading.


Besides, I usually naturally write an essay a day, but two? That’s kinda pushing it. I think my mind and my body are rebelling.


And yet, I’ve gained so much from writing.


This has been the most seminal year of my life. You know that, you’ve watched me write all of the essays about it. You’ve seen me get more and more comfortable.


Yet I’m not really in the mood to tell you thank you. I’m in the mood to tell you, “Fuck you” because I don’t want to write anymore … and that makes it ironic considering that the majority of this time I’ve looked forward to writing. Now I just feel like a machine who needs to get it done.


I’m so close to 360 essays that there is no way I’m going to stop now. But I will stop once I hit 360.


Your existence began when I decided to write 100 essays in 100 days. I enjoyed it so much that I kept writing.


But you my friend, our friendship will end when we reach our goal together. I don’t want any more goals. I don’t want any more required quantities. I don’t want any more pressure.


I know I’ll continue writing in some capacity, but I’m done with hefty things like you on my back.


And now that I’ve admitted that, I am still grateful you are here. You were here at the right time in my life. I will still muscle through with you because I made a commitment, but god damn it is hard.


Maybe that’s what I’d like you to know. That it actually isn’t just natural and easy for me. That I am doing the work to show up for you every damn day. And on the days I don’t show up, you’re still lurking in the back of my mind.


So how about you chill, and trust that I got this. Even if I have to force it out in a weekend frenzy of writing, I will do it.


We’ve come this far now.


I’m not giving up.


With Love,

Jackie

 

I reached my goal of writing 360 essays the day before my 37th birthday. I’ve continued writing and it now feels so natural that I don’t need a goal number to keep me on course.

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