I’ve been writing on 750 Words for a few years now (and have blogged about my love of it in the past). Still, I noticed today that I’d hit a fun milestone.
(I should point out that I have been on the site far longer than 750 days, in fact, it’s something closer to 1250. Still, 750 is a number that’s not to be sneezed at!)
For people like me who haven’t journaled in the past, it’s a strange phenomenon to have an insight in to your past-life subconscious. (I use this phrase from a conversation I had with a long-time journaller friend when I started the site. She described journalling as “writing to your future self”.) While there is a big push for quantifying your life, seeing your journal is about qualifying it, noticing how much you’ve changed.
When I look back at my first entry—on my 25th birthday, in April 2010—I see how much more unsure I was. I was living and working in Auckland and had just been offered a studentship at Northumbria University—a country I’d never even visited—and was grappling with an unknown I couldn’t even comprehend. I see this unsureness and reserve in the early writing attempts. Admittedly, back in those days I was far better at knocking out the words in one go: these days I tend to get distracted and then forget what I was writing about. Still, through the practice of them I can see myself sorting through my concerns and insecurities.
Of course, there are cheats. I have to admit to a few days where I’ve got to 375 words and copy-pasted the rest in order to keep a streak going. Still, these days are few and far between now.
I like having a repository of thoughts, even if it is often ephemera that I won’t care about in the future. The nice thing about it being a website is the reassurance that it doesn’t matter if it’s utter rubbish: it’s not soiling beautiful paper or clogging up public space where it would annoy people.
Finally, I was having a discussion with some colleagues this morning about writing, and whether it really makes any difference to write and reflect on one’s life and happiness. One idea is that journalling allows us to overcome mirror-neuron deficit by doing it on our own, namely by enabling us to dig into how we feel as much as what we think. It’s an interesting concept, and one I’ll consider as I head into my next 750 days.