Interregnum: Thinking allowed

Posted: 17 October 2019 in 2020 minus, blogging
Tags: ,

This entire post is housekeeping, so if you want to skip it, go right ahead.

It’s mainly just me thinking aloud here today, while I try to justify to myself why another countdown blog would be a smart idea.

Plans for 55 minus
When I started the 55 minus… countdown, I was pretty open about why I was doing it, and what I wanted from it. After over two years away from blogging, I wanted to see if I could once again post a daily blog, write some interesting stuff, hopefully amuse some people, and just get back to writing something every day for people to read.

And I think, in the main, I achieved it.

What I learned from 55 minus
Well, for a start, I learned – re-learned, maybe? – that the countdown format works for me. It gives me a structure to the blog that I wouldn’t otherwise have, and it helps having a self-imposed deadline. I also learned that not having a full blown plan in advance of the countdown starting costs me; maybe not i the short term but definitely in the medium and long term.

The last time I did a countdown blog, I was pretty much burned out from blogging, so took a break. And the break lasted over two years. And that was with a plan.

This plan, as it happens:

Some of the abbreviations are immediately obvious, some of them not quite so obvious but understandable with a key.

“E/W” was code for me sticking up some stories I’d written for Elephant Words, a fiction site I participated in for a couple of years way back. “S/Smile”, obviously, the Saturday Smile.“D’Club” refers to Distraction Club. “HASC” was the Home Affairs Select Committee, which was – at the time – investigating antisemitism in British politics. “Election Day” was the 2016 Presidential Election.

This time I set out to do it without a plan as such. Oh, I had some vague ideas, and knew I’d put some fiction up. And I’d probably restart the Saturday Smiles Oh, and I wanted to write something on antisemitic tropes. And some stuff on London, where I live. Oh, and I was pretty sure that if I went to Edinburgh, I’d probably write some posts on that. But not really much more of a plan than that.

And it cost me. I quickly realised that I needed a structure or I’d end up taking a day off the first time I had a brain fart when nothing sprang to mind that day. And that genuinely panicked me, for a brief time. So a structure evolved.

And so the ‘stories from the vaults’ arrived.

And the one-offs/Ten Things thing arrived.

And I made it through the 55 days of 55 minus.

Planned for 55 plus
There wasn’t a plan for 55 plus. After I finished 55 minus, I thought I’d do what I’d previously down with countdown blogs (birthday, election, years), change the minus to a plus, carry on for ten days or so, then take a break.

But I didn’t. I carried on blogging.

What I learned from 55 plus
That it’s ok to take a day off now and then. And that if you’ve got a structure, unplanned or not, that works for you, carry on with it.

And that I like symmetry. I ended up running the 55 plus until I hit 55, well, 56 if you’re being pedantic. And it wasn’t until I came towards the end of it that I began to wonder, what next?

Ok, so what now?
Well, rereading the above, I’m hoenstly not sure if I’m smart or daft, if I’m being sensible or silly. But I’m going to try another countdown to the New Year of 2020, but this time with a plan, similar to the earlier one I did three years ago.

In some ways, it’ll be earlier. I have some plans already its’ mty late brother’s birthday during the run so I’ll write something about him. It’s my son’s birthday during the run, so I get to embarrass him. Which is always fun.

And there’s Christmas Day, of course.

The fictions from the vaults will continue, with some stories I recently discovered, which even I had completely forgotten about, and some of them have art attached.

The Saturday Smiles will continue but there might be a small change in the format there.

I’ll try and put up some new fiction. And I’ll write some more about ‘war stories’ from my past career, and some thoughts on comedy and writing and accountancy and… stuff.

There’ll be some personal stuff and some stuff on politics. And even some stuff on genres of fiction.

The Top Tens will be back, because I enjoyed them.

And, towards the end, a mea culpa about predictions I’ve made that have proved that I really shouldn’t make predictions.

And I may start off with a re-introduction, but since I did one only four months ago, I’ll try and make it a little different. Maybe.

So, join me tomorrow, for 2020 minus 75, and let’s see what happens, eh?

(Oh, just for the record, yes, there’ll be an update to A Life In Pictures including some new ones I’ve found from way back, but it won’t form part of the 2020 minus run. It’ll be a separate entry entirely.)
See you tomorrow…

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