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A slightly mad personal experiment in time travel

Just recently, a few of my “internet friends” – people I’ve been digitally stalking for a decade or more – have fired up their old blogs again and started writing on a daily basis. This is also a bit Zeitgeisty at the moment: there have been lots of magazine articles and books which have mentioned the benefits of taking time to publicly air one’s feelings on a regular basis through the medium of online writing. I was finally pushed over the edge to write this post after Duncan Stephen published this post on his blog.

Years ago, I went through a phase of blogging daily: I usually commented on political events, with an inflated sense of my own importance and understanding. In fact, I blogged no less than 640 times in 2005. I don’t think much of it was high-quality stuff.

I’ve recently installed a nifty WordPress plugin which emails me daily with my own historical posts published on the same calendar date. Despite the fact that much of the content is utter bilge, I really enjoy reading these; they always bring back contemporaneous memories and make me reflect on how my life and views have changed.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I see the benefit of regular blogging. Over the past couple of years, I’ve toyed with blogging daily, thinking about how I could emulate better bloggers by exploring whatever topic happens to be on my mind. I’ve even gone as far as to have a “dry run” of daily blogging on two separate occasions in the last couple of years, experimenting for a few days with unpublished posts just to see whether I could stick with it. I never could.

I was often inspired by things that had happened in my life (meetings, discussions, events) and this left me concerned that someone would read the post and take it the wrong way. I worried that in the contemporaneous context, people would see themselves in everything I wrote, and probably take offence. I was also wary about sharing travel plans, lest my house be burgled or car stolen!

I have occasionally tried writing a private diary or journal along similar lines, but I never stick with that because it seems self-indulgent and unproductive. I think there is something beneficial about writing content that is going be published (even if no-one reads it): there’s an element of self-editing which helps with critical thinking.

So here is my plan for a mad experiment: I’m going to blog more frequently—possibly even daily. However, I’m going to publish what I write with a delay of a year.

I’m sitting writing this in Wendy’s Ikea Strandmon winged chair on 6 March 2018: if all goes to plan, you will be reading this on 6 March 2019. Unless the whole thing fizzles out after a couple of days, in which case I’ll delete the lot and this writing will never see the light of day.


The photo at the top is by wuestenigel, edited and used under Creative Commons Licence.

This 2,397th post was filed under: Blogging, Posts delayed by 12 months.

Some recently published posts

Crossing the US-Mexico border / May 2019, 10 minutes long

The day I met a Giant Panda called Bai Yun / May 2019, 3 minutes long

Flying and thinking / May 2019, 3 minutes long

The BBC ruins the UK’s chances at Eurovision / May 2019, 5 minutes long

When public health measures pass me by / May 2019, 3 minutes long

Some random old posts

Incidents on the tube / July 2005, 1 minute long

What kind of king will Charles III be? / November 2014, Less than a minute long

Blair, Wolfgang, and terror laws / October 2005, 2 minutes long

Mad Pat redefines ‘stabilising’ / June 2006, 2 minutes long

The man from Amsterdam: He say ‘Nee’ / June 2005, 4 minutes long

What now for Madeleine Fund? / September 2007, Less than a minute long


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