100 days for everyone is not about one hundred days. It’s not about taking yourself off to remote islands, or living alone, or giving things up. It’s not about hardship or solitude or taking up a challenge. It’s not hard, and it isn’t a challenge.
Inspired by the one hundred days I actually did spend living alone on a remote island in the autumn and winter of 2014, and the book that I wrote in the process, 100 days for everyone simply stands for claiming the space and time you need to find yourself. Wherever you find yourself, wherever you happen to be. In your own way; in any way you can. To strip yourself down to the things that really matter, and then pick those things up and make them the centre of your life. And live that life, as much as you can, every day.
The book I wrote, in fact, was the process, and the process was discovering, at last, at age 36, who I really am. And everything I learned is in that book. And it isn’t just about me: it’s about everyone.
It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that many readers are treating 100 days of solitude as a sort of self-help guide to doing what you love. It shouldn’t be, but it is, to me, because I didn’t set out to write a self-help book, or a guide, or to teach anybody anything. I didn’t even set out to write a book at all. I was simply recording my own journey, my own process of learning, and I think that’s what makes 100 days so valuable, so effective in motivating people to make changes in their own lives: the accidental factor, the lack of any sort of agenda.
100 days is a rare book in that it’s managed, somehow, to touch almost everyone who’s read it. I’ve had readers as young as 9 and as old as 93, men and women of all backgrounds, races, nationalities and faiths, and they all seem to find something in this book that relates to their own lives, their own thoughts, their own hopes and their own struggles. I take no credit for this; I claim no wisdom, and no deeper insight than anyone else. And that’s the point I want to make clear to anyone who’s praised me for all my supposed achievements: this isn’t about me, and it’s not because I’m particularly special. All I did was acknowledge that my life was not as I wanted it to be, and that it was up to me to change it. As simple and as terrifying as that. I made a choice. And it’s a choice that’s available to everyone.
And that’s why I think this book should be read. I want it to reach as far and as wide as possible. Farther and wider than my own, limited social networks and resources will carry it. Being a self-published book, 100 days of solitude lacks the resources (financial and otherwise) and the reach that the backing of a conventional publisher would afford it. It’s entirely up to me to get it out there, and I’ve spent the last year or so since its publication trying to do just that. I’ve summoned all of my resources, skills, wit and sheer obstinacy, I’ve read articles and watched videos and taken courses, and pushed my friends, family and extended social networks to the limit of their patience. And, for a self-published book, competing with millions of titles on Amazon, it’s done well. But there’s only so far it can go. And I’ve realised, recently, that my amateur DIY marketing tactics, as valiant as they may be, do not do it justice. It’s time to invest in professional marketing services, in paid advertising, and send 100 days of solitude on a round-the-world trip.
So this is what I’m doing. Since May, I’ve been running paid adverts on facebook, with a minimum spend of £15-30 each day. And it works: I’m reaching people and selling books. Sometimes enough to cover my advertising fees, though, mostly, this exercise is running at a loss. No matter: it’s still worth it. It’s an investment, and few investments pay off straight away. It’s a gamble, with my money and my faith, but it’s a gamble I’m willing to make, if I am to be true to the book I wrote and stand up for the way of life I believe in.
And that’s it: that’s the story, so far. 100 days for everyone, and if you want to join, all you need to do is read the book. Borrow it; read it for free on Kindle Unlimited, or buy it on Amazon. And if you like it, pass it on. Recommend it to other readers, tell your friends. Post a review on Amazon. Help it travel further.