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bLink 11

One hundred words.

By Thom Wong 29 Dec 2005 | TheTyee.ca

Thom Wong writes regularly about music for The Tyee. He has also been a teacher and contract specialist. With eight years of education and three bachelor degree, Thom focuses mostly on marketing writing.

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11th of 40 bLinks

Back in my previous incarnation as a high school teacher of malleable minds, I took a writing course where we were instructed to write only about what we could see through a one inch by one inch square. This works particularly well when you are staring blankly at your computer screen, trying to think of something to say about a website that offers midget rentals for "hijinks and shennanigans"...er, when you have writer's block.

100words is built on a similar command: write one hundred words a day, every day. Unlike chain letters and the Catholic Church, the site promises no magical outcomes associated with completing this task. The simple act of writing is the entire purpose.

The site is a labour of love for Jeff Koyen, former editor for the New York Press. He was dismissed from that position for a "pope-bashing" article, which, sadly, isn't very good (and strangely is still online). Much better, but no longer updated, is Koyen's webzine Crank.

The front page opens with the first 100 words from A Tale of Two Cities, which will either inspire you or throw you into an irreparable funk when you realize you will never, ever write like Dickens. But the point is clear (and in case you missed it, it appears before the main page): You can say a lot in 100 words.

The site has been operating since 2001, and since that time hundreds of people have posted 100 words a day. A few writers have even done it every single day for every month for the last four years. I'm not so good at math, but I think that would make the total for a single writer somewhere in the hundreds of billions.

You can search the archives, or, if you find an author you like, by their name. Personally, I enjoy hitting the "Read Random" button, which is similar to listening to snippets of conversations on the Skytrain. Not unlike the previously bLinked Post Secret, the posts can tend towards the confessional. A recent entry confided, " Sometimes you have got to say farewell to a thing that you love."

Thom Wong is a law student who spends an unreasonable amount of time online. His 40 bLinks column runs every Monday and Thursday on The Tyee. What's he all about? Click here.

For previous 40 bLinks, click here.  [Tyee]

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