Beavers in Vancouver

Originality is Overrated

I’ve had an idea. It’s not a particularly original one. I’ve decided to publicly profess my intention to write one blog post per week or more, for the entirety of 2016. You’ve heard that before, right? If you have a blog or website that you neglect, you’ve probably promised yourself that you’d do something similar in the past. Each time you make this grand plan, start the prep work, get drafting ideas, then they fall by the wayside; a call comes in that needs to be answered, you feel “a bit ill” or tired or whatever, and you bullshit yourself into believing that the best course of action is to not do whatever it is that you said that you would. You lie to yourself. Lying is not cool, especially to the #1 person who has your own interests at heart: you.

So this unoriginal post is what it is. A profession of intention. A statement of ambition. A target to be hit or missed, and the lack of originality of that is fine. Because a clever old Greek dude basically said that ideas are not original anyway. Which sort of makes the concept of copyright or trademark a little odd when you think about it.

"It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world." Quote from Aristotle's On the Heavens

Other people have done this before, other people will do it afterwards, and that’s fine.

So, what is there to write about?

That’s really the point; at this moment, I have no idea. I’ve tried before to set some sort of topic, some warm line of coherence to draw together everything that I want to write about, because everyone says that when you start writing a blog regularly, you should aim at a niche. Well I’m really not very good at that sort of thing… Niches. I like to do lots of stuff, and go to lots of places, but I wouldn’t call myself a travel blogger or an experience seeking type person. I write software for a living, but I wouldn’t want to be thought of as a programmer either. I take decent photos (so I’m told at least; I’ve taken every photo on this site myself, no stock photos here), but I wouldn’t call myself a photographer either. This leads to a form of writers block whenever I sit down to write a post – I might plan ahead to write a post on dynamic image loading in Android, for instance, but when it comes to doing it I get bored of that idea and then just start looking for photos to post instead.

So this time, no planning. I’ll just sit down and write whatever comes into my head. I’m hoping that I have enough interesting stuff to draw from to create 52 posts out of … *gulp*.

What’s your approach then?

Making a goal without milestones or consequences is not making a goal at all. It’s saying something without any sort of accountability. That’s a bad way to go about getting anything done. So what I’m going to do instead is to schedule posts to be published every Sunday @ 8pm GMT, for the next 52 weeks, I’m counting this post is the first one , even though it’s a Thursday (What? that’s not cheating…shut up). Each post will contain the words “MATT FAILED…”, writ large.

I am not allowed to change those dates/times for any reason – there is really no excuse not to write something when there’s a WordPress app for Android that lets you write stuff from anywhere.

If I don’t write something in the post, it’s getting published anyway as a statement of my failure to stick to my own goals. I figure that if people like Casey Neistat can edit a full-on YoutTube video every day of his life, I can stick to writing something once a week.

So if for some reason you’re interested in discovering the next bunch of keyboard strikes that I decide to make public, you’ll just have to wait and see what I come up with by 8pm this Sunday 7th February 2016. So that’s that. I’m done. Here’s a squirrel.

A picture of a squirrel in the snow, because why not?

A picture of a squirrel in the snow, because why not?

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