Shelley Widhalm

Posts Tagged ‘The Number 100’

Writing to 100 Percent

In 52 Writing Topics, Shelley Widhalm, Shyness, Writing on June 10, 2012 at 10:16 am

Though a bit arbitrary, the number 100 relates to the writing process, but not as profoundly as does “1.”

Page 1. Get started somehow, as long as you begin the process.

This is my 100th blog since I began writing in the format, six days short of my two-year anniversary on June 16, or 6 days from 6/16, which is equal to 10, or 1/10th of 100 (I like the pattern in the numbers here).

I initiated my blog, taking the advice from my writer’s magazines that aspiring authors need to have a platform, of which blogging and having a Website play a part (see

At first, my blog felt like homework. Called Shell’s Ink, I spent the first half-year talking about my dog, Zoey the Cute Dachshund. I blogged from Zoey’s perspective in Zoey’s Paw, developing a voice and character for a 9.5-pound long-haired miniature dachshund who thinks she’s Miss Princess.

In 2011, I learned that my blog had to have a theme and relate to my writing projects, so I blogged about shyness. One of my characters is shy, Maggie Cooper in “One April Day,” which I was editing at the time.

I took on a shyness challenge, doing things that scared me into being more outgoing and then writing about my experiences. The challenge worked – at least my friends and family were telling me that I didn’t seem shy, and I no longer felt that way.

This year, I’m blogging about 52 writing topics in 52 weeks. Like my shyness blog helped me get over the last fragments of shyness, my writing blog is helping me review each element of writing. Taking the time to think about those elements, such as minor plots, character arc and dialogue, is like coloring in the outlines, making my understanding more vivid and real.

What does all this have to do with 100?

I looked up the number and was reminded that 100 is the square of 10 and the basis of percentage. Currency is divided into 100 subunits. The construction of the Great Pyramid lasted 100 years. And in Christian literature, the number 100 symbolizes celestial beatitude.

The number 100 is part of a whole. A book can be written in a 100 days, or 30 during NaNoWriMo. Becoming a good, or actually great, writer requires writing 1 million words (100 X 100 X 100, or 100 to the 3rd power). And writing and editing a book, at least for me as a part-time novelist, takes 100 or so weeks – one year to write and one to edit.

One hundred is the number of perfection. It indicates 100 percent effort, 100 percent motivation, 100 percent not giving up, 100 percent hope.

It is 100 percent of putting your heart into this thing you love.

Writing without 100 becomes too hard, bringing up pain and the past and things you don’t want to think about or deal with, causing a giving up into numbers less than 100.

In other words, 100 is an absolute need to write because without it, you can’t breathe.