Well, I'm a week in and liking (not loving) doing this. It's pushing me about as hard as I expected it to. As I wrote in reply to meljane last night, there are two things that prompted this whole thing, and a handful of extra rules I realise I've built for myself in just a short week. I wouldn't expect others to follow them, but I thought I'd mention them.
The initial two reasons for doing this were -
1. Trying to make myself write. I don't have to write every day, but I should try to make myself. I write it in one sitting, edit as I go, and it goes up.
2. Challenging myself into not self-censoring. Saying what I really feel, even if I don't think people will want to read it. I censor myself a hell of a lot on LJ, partly in what I say, partly in what I talk about.
So in regards to reason One, I'm running along the edge of my comfort zone with some of the language, not to mention the restrictions I place on myself.
I'm not always happy with them, some are too short, too long, or just don't say what I want them to say. But it's a handy exercise and it's having a desirable side effect - I'm slowly getting through my email, which I wasn't before. The last few months I've dropped out of writing anything. I know that some of it is actually health related, but some of it is simply down to letting depression take over, and from there finding distractions is easy. One of the best ways to beat depression is to force yourself to work, give yourself the little victories rather than yet another day of defeat.
I'm hoping this will get me back into the groove again. And even if it doesn't, it's making me think about the things I like and dislike, and then try to spell that out for others. And that's an interesting exercise in and of itself. It's one thing to think or feel a certain way, it's another to try and talk about it. It teaches you a lot about yourself. For instance, I consciously realised some of the other reasons I started this as I was writing this piece. The main one is mention in the Hate below.
Reason Two is a big issue. I censor myself a lot with my writing. That shouldn't be a problem, to some degree it's a good thing, except that I have gotten so used to self-censoring that I either don't talk about things that I want to, or the version I give is so watered down, I may as well have not bothered. In fact, what has been happening is, I'm just not posting.
The thing is, in person, I really can talk about anything with anyone. Any subject no matter how mundane, taboo, silly, or private - if the conversation is flowing naturally, there's no problem. It's why I was good in the sex shop. I could move fluidly between the old guy who was after transexual porn, the girl nervously buying her first vibrator, and the young guy who was after a good stick vid. Being myself the whole while and talking with each at a level where they were comfortable.
Whereas when I'm writing on here I struggle with the openness that many of my friends manage easily when talking about things like their love of slash fiction. I simply could not do it, and yet I know I should be able to. When it comes to writing this stuff, I'm blocked, but if I was face to face with any of you, I could have a long, relaxed, discussion about sex/porn/slash whatever. I prefer to be an open book.
100 days is gradually forcing me to open. And that's also why it was 100 days, and not 10, or 50. It gives me time to settle into it, to learn not to care. I'm not worried about talking about personal stuff, I'm worried about someone who doesn't wish to read it being exposed to it. But there are ways to deal with that. LJ-Cuts, or friends-locking the posts, for instance.
The rules I've built for myself are - one pair a day, no weak excuses. If I'm actually capable of being in front of the computer for more than five minutes, then I'm capable of writing one of these. So apart from yesterday's effort, it's the very first thing I do on the computer, barring some small breaks. Write them in one sitting, no real pre-planning, edit as I go - that way I avoid over-thinking the reasons. The rules have all grown to make sure I actually do this. I may not finish it, I may not get to a hundred, but I'm going to try. You can certainly expect a Hate on this whole process as well, at some point.
But while it's hard and I know it's going to get harder, I'm actually liking it. Oh and all the comments have helped a lot, too. Thanks guys :)
I do them now and again, but most of them shit me to tears. I do the ones that I find interesting, silly or just fun, but the vast majority I find vacuous wastes of time, effort and space.
When I saw the two lists of 100 things on James Gunn's website, I remember thinking "I should do that! Two big lists, a hundred things on each! Be interesting trying to come up with a hundred of each."
When I thought about it I realised I didn't want to do yet another meme-style list of things. Coming up with a list of 100 things that I like or hate may take a little bit of work, but let's face it, it's just another fuckin' list. Who really cares? What do people learn about you from a list? They skim through it and spot the occasional point, but overall, it means nothing.
What I want to know when I see these things is why they are on the hate/love list? That is the far more interesting element.
Why does John hate the smell of alcohol? Is it simply that he finds the smell disagreeable? Or the association with a time he was drunk and acted like a dill? Or does it stem from his drunk father coming home and vomiting all over the Christmas presents?
Why does Jane like Knightrider? Was it simply a favourite show as a kid? Is it something that brings back fond memories of her and her brother sitting together and finally having one thing that they both liked? Was the Hoff her first sexual fantasy?
The other ones I hate are the fucking online tests. On my God, most of them are so awful! I like a test where you can't easily see how to manipulate your answers into giving you the result you're wanting. What's the point of doing it if you can choose the result you want? Why bother telling us? If you can pick the result from the questions, why waste time doing the fucking thing? Just write "I think if I was a mythological creature, I'd be a Centaur..." because it amounts to the same thing. And I'd rather hear your reasons why than see what a badly put together test thinks.
That's my issue with memes. Over 99% of them are vacuous. I don't mind vacuous. Vacuous can be fun. But when that's all you get, day after day... Where's the meat? Where's the good stuff? The stuff that makes people think? That challenges? I want to live my life! I want to learn and grow! It's why I started the 'Tell me what you hate about me' meme. I have no problem with feel-good memes except that's about all there is!
And for fuck's sake people, put them behind an LJ cut! There's nothing worse than when a meme catches on and your friends page is filled with one crap meme after another.