The Unanticipated Benefits of Writing 100 Essays in 100 Days
I recently completed a challenge of writing 100 essays in 100 days (you can read more specifics about the challenge here).
I thought the challenge would give me space to clear out and clarify all of the random thoughts in my head. I thought the constraint (for I also committed to no new business ideas for my private practice during the 100 days), would help me discern my next business moves and build excitement for them.
None of those things happened.
After 100 essays, my head is still full of random ideas, thoughts, and opinions. My list of ideas for future essays is almost as long as the list of essays I wrote.
I thought that after 100 essays I would be able to see what topics I actually want to write about. I’ve always been a bit of a generalist, writing about many things with a psychological bent. Turns out - I’m still that. There is no topic I feel more inspired to write about than all of the others. My writing is usually inspired by the events of my day.
Making no changes in my private practice was what was most difficult about this challenge. There were moments when fear arose (such as when my therapy caseload dipped) and I thought about trying a new marketing approach. There were times I got excited about a new business idea and I had to hold myself back.
This turned out to be very good for me. I couldn’t act on the moment or the emotions it held. In fact, a strange thing happened during the 100 days - I removed more and more from my life. As I made space in my schedule to write, I was surprised that I still wanted more time. I began removing meetings from my days off. I reduced or stopped other meetings (such as mastermind groups, consultation groups, catch-ups with other therapists, etc). I had more and more time to write or take naps or do whatever I wanted.
It was like the more I rested, the more space for rest I wanted. I came to relish my light schedule, long weekends, and stretches of time with nothing scheduled.
As part of this, I also concluded friendships and social commitments that no longer served me. I saw a meme recently that captures how I felt. It read, “I only have time for ‘Fuck Yes’ energy.”
I also experienced personal growth during the 100 days, and wrote essays about them - such as improving my relationship with my dog, understanding my neurodiverse experience better, feeling more confident in my lived experiences, and more.
My challenge concluded at the beginning of April. I enjoyed the challenge so much that I decided to continue writing daily (today is essay #171), but without the fanfare of a challenge. It has become a beloved part of my life.