My Project for 100 Days 2011

I’m looking forward to this summer’s 100 Days writing, reading, view et cetera. You can find info about the project here. Here’s the new description

The 2011 100 Days Projects is going to play things somewhat looser this summer than in the past. What do we mean by this: 2008 saw a collaboration between Carianne Garside, who led with drawings, and Steve Ersinghaus, who based his poems on her art; 2009 saw Steve Ersinghaus lead off with a story a day; 2010 saw John Timmons lead with a film a day, and many of the artists followed his films, drawing from it as a means of inspiration. This year, rather than this sort of follow-the-leader framework, we’d like to encourage all of our participants to range between the participants for theme, motif, or other inspirational method. For example, this summer Steve Ersinghaus will be writing as poem a day. Other 100 Days participants might want to draw an image from one of his poems or follow him for a few days. Ersinghaus might, on the other hand, write poems inspired by photographers or painters or even fiction writers or other poets.

In doing so, it might be fun for people to use weblog tags, “like” buttons, links, and social media technologies, such as Twitter, to acknowledge, integrate, blend and synthesize numerous peoples’ works. Maybe you’ll come to enjoy a particular artist or set of other creators and continue to develop their themes in your own work.

In this way, we might be able to trace a map of links between our various weblogs, resulting in a graphical sum total of 100 Days activity.

Those who want to participate should provide their feed link to the email address in the next section and then watch for activity on May 21, the day things start.

But now to the issue. I’d like to range through things that people do after a couple of days. I’m going to start by writing a poem a day for a few days and see how things shake out. I’m also going to play with tagging and links. I spoke with many of my writing students about the project and they seem pumped. In many ways, 100 Days is about the creative process, which I define as a way of solving problems. In my own writing, I like to play with images and the imagination. I like to ask a question: what can I imagine and put into words. It’s pretty simple. Using the techniques I’ve studied, can I work with the haiku form and its variants, can I follow the Chinese masters and make things like they did? Or things like them. Can I juice an idea out and follow it, writing a passable poem that makes something in an economical way.

My advice to students, if they’re fiction writers, for example, is to read a lot, but to read those kinds of things that might prove useful for digging for ideas swiftly. Things that will teach a lot within the time span of 100 Days.

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