And so the 100 days is over. I made it down to the event in the fairy-lit, balloon-strewn warehouse in Dalston, where I met some lovely hundred-dayers in real life (hello, and thanks for the camaraderie, the plagiarism, the couch, the Lego and the badges!); marvelled at the Museum; and laughed heartily at Josie Long, Isy Suttie, Sara Pascoe(who also made me cry a bit), and the Pictish Trail and his 30-second songs. There was even cake. A massive cake, with 100 candles no less.
My pledge was to do something creative every day, and to learn Icelandic. The ‘doing something creative’ suited me well, as it basically meant getting on with my writing. But the more I read the blogs of other hundred-dayers, with their photos and comics and sketchbook pages, the more I felt like I wanted to do something ‘visual’, something I could photograph and document. It wasn’t till I was about half-way through that I started to focus on the ‘altered books’ thing. It was something I’d played around with before and really enjoyed. So I went with it. And it progressed from painting on pages to actually cutting things out from the pages, making the pages themselves into other things. I enjoyed it so much that I think I’ll call it a hobby, and do it some more.
My Icelandic didn’t fare as well. Learning words in isolation does not a language teach. Or something. But I’m going to continue with it anyway. And the way I see it, I’ve given myself a head start.
Talar þú íslensku? Err...I'll get back to you on that one.
Am I a better person? Who can say? It’s felt like my life over the last three months has been part of something bigger. And that’s been good and bad. It felt strange for me to be blogging nearly every day, as I’m used to giving myself time-outs from the internet. So in the end I got around that by collating entries and doing catch-up posts. I’ve been more inclined to say yes to things. And I’ve been drawing more, which is something that I missed. And I think taking stock every day changes the way you look at things, too. It stops the days all blurring into one. Which to me, is a good thing. So, stepping onto the positive side of the seesaw, I think I’ll conclude that for me, it’s not necessarily the doing of a certain thing every day that’s been important. Rather, it’s been the reflection, and the thinking about each day and all its events, actions, plans, ideas that matters, and I think it’s this that has set me on the path (and it’s possibly quite a long-ish path) to being a better person.
Chrissy Williams, who was busy learning a new word a day for the whole 100 days, sums it all up beautifully here...
"Whatever we decide to do every day affects us. We affect other people, so what we do affects them. Small things accumulate into big things. This means that small things matter. What do you want to do today? Can you make time to do something small, or will you do nothing?"
Big thanks to Josie Long and the London Word Festival for making it all happen. And hurrah to everyone! We did it.