What I've been working on lately...

100 Days of Revise

I am fairly interested in the idea of not preserving the events in your life. The opposite of this would include, for example, texting friends during or immediately after an event, sharing online, writing in your journal, etc.

I am also fairly interested in the idea of documenting common and everyday occurrences that most people don’t really care about. The contrast to that would include writing about your food preparation (without being a health food guru or subscribing to any specific niche), talking about a moment of absolutely no significance when you checked out at Noodles & Company, sounds that you’re exposed to that aren’t special or interesting. The everyday, boring things that happen when you’re alone or uncomfortable, the parts of yourself you might not think to include on a postcard.

I am the person who participates in photo challenges but whose photos aren’t perfectly, brightly lit representations of exciting and meaningful moments that were created for that challenge.

Mostly right now, though, I am interested in the idea of creating something that documents these types of things and everyday thoughts, and then only sharing with one or two people. Complete strangers. Like sending all your darkest secrets in a letter to someone on Send Something, anonymously or not but not with the intention of opening up a new friendship.

That’s what I did with the results of my 100 days project. For 100 days, I kept my one little word (revise) in mind, and I wrote about everything and anything that came to mind under that theme. I didn’t write every day, but with that fueling my thoughts and actions, it wasn’t hard to end up with 3 long zines full of words and energy.

The first zine, feels like every other day ended at 54 pages. I sent a copy in for a trade with another zinester.

The second [no title], officially my longest zine ever made, wrapped up at 100 pages. I traded it with one person and the other copy sent to a penpal.

Finally, the last I titled growing and it found its way to one person. There were 52 pages of exploration.

Altogether 206 quarter-sized pages of content that I wrote just in the matter of 100 days, and 206 quarter-sized pages of writing that mixes and molds and references itself like it’s one complete work, but which four people read separately. Those who received zine 2 won’t know what came before or after. It’s not “good writing” to create an interlacing trilogy where only certain people would have access to a single zine each, but I like that.

There’s that idea where you don’t get to know the beginning or the end, or what started it all, or how it all wrapped up. You could make the argument that all art and storytelling comes out this way, because rarely does it tell the whole story. The difference to me is that the whole story was told and shared, but then limited.

I suppose I just like the idea of only getting a snippet of the expression, like meeting someone for the sole purpose of only knowing them for one day. Maybe, in the end, you regret it, because you had a lot of fun and you would want this person around more, but part of the significance and most of the meaning comes from only catching a glimpse of that life.

It seems like most participants did their 100 days by creating an item or doing a creative act of some kind each day. It occurred to me that while I wasn’t producing tangible items, dating my work, or following the general idea of the challenge, thinking creatively is just as useful as producing creative works. And so I’ll say: Yes, my 100 Days Project was a success, and I do recommend the project to others in the future.