Monday, April 13, 2020

On A Saturday Night At Home

The reason I'm posting this so early on a Monday morning is because, as the title suggests, I wrote it a couple of days ago. I don't usually mention the origins of my post titles in the posts themselves but I'm going to make an exception for this one.

When I finished this piece, as usual I had no clue what I was going to call it but I had ShitKid's album Fish playing as I wrote and for some reason I thought "I wonder if there's anything on there that would work?". That's something I never do. I mean, literally never. It's the first time I can ever recall finishing a post then looking at what was playing in the background for inspiration on what to call it.

It would be interesting to know why I did it this time.  Well, it would interest me. I am so often a mystery to myself. Some clarity would be nice, once in a while.

Also, you might think I'd know the names of the tracks on CDs I own without having to look them up but more often than not I really don't. Up until maybe my mid-30s I could all but recite the track lists of everything I owned, in order, along with the names of most of the people playing and who produced the thing but that superpower went away sometime around the end of Britpop. I think the only track on this one I could reliably have named without checking first would have been Sugar Town.

That wasn't the track playing as I finished the post. We'd already had it. I flipped over to iTunes to see what I was listening to and it was On a Saturday Night at Home.

It was just before six in the evening on Saturday and thanks to the lockdown I was, as I had been all day and all week, at home. More at home, indeed, than ever before, you might say. As are we all. Or most of us, apologies and heartfelt thanks to the essential workers out there..

Since this is a post about the way my thought processes operate as I put this stuff together, something that fits nicely with this week's Blapril theme of Getting to Know You, this was very clearly a sign. If not, indeed, a portent. I know a sign when I see one.

For most of the year, in normal times, I follow a very straightforward posting pattern but during Blapril I've been trying something new. I'm keeping two posts ahead of myself at all times. I'm also trying to avoid posting more than once a day. As with almost everything I end up doing, I didn't plan it. It just kind of happened.

It all came about because I spent several days putting together the humungous song title post. I was working on it in the evenings, mostly, after I'd already posted for the day, so when I finished it I found myself one post ahead. Then the next day I happened to write a post about one of the Blapril topics in addition to the post I was going to write anyway. That put me two posts ahead.

Or something like that. Honestly, it's all a bit of vague now. The days all seem to drift into one long stay-at-home blur. I can't sequence events any more.

In these times it's quite important to have a routine. I have one: I get up, have breakfast, read some blogs, set my EverQuest and EverQuest II Overseer missions, do my Guild Wars 2 dailies, read some more blogs. By then I almost always have an idea for what I want to write that day.

But I already have posts waiting. So before I start on anything new I pick one off the top of the pile, do a final edit and hit publish. That leaves me with one post banked but I still have that new idea I want to get started on, so I write another post and there I am, back where I began, with two posts in the bank.

It sounds fine on paper, doesn't it? I mean, Blapril has a lot of days to fill. It would be good to get ahead, wouldn't it? You'd think so. But in practice it's not as great as all that. In fact it's starting to get a tad annoying.

For one thing, I get quite excited about some of the posts I write and I tend to be most excited right after I finish them. I don't want to leave them to stew, let alone spoil. I want to get them out there.

I tend not to suffer from any of the much-discussed uncertainties about letting people see anything I've done, especially when it comes to writing. Lack of confidence has rarely been an issue for me. Quite the opposite, in fact. By and large I'm insufferably happy with my own work. Always have been. Just consider yourselves fortunate I don't write poetry any more. Or songs.

For me, the effect being two posts ahead is having is one of mild irritation. After a while, I've even found myself bumping the post I've just written ahead of the ones in the bank because Ive gone off the boil with the older ones and I'm gung ho to go to print with whatever I just wrote. That's not helping.

More pressingly, there are sometimes things I'd like to post about that have a degree of currency, not to say urgency. There's not much point sitting on a post about a new in-game promotion that only lasts a few days until the two posts in line ahead of it have published. Not least because if you do, someone else will get in there first! Not that I'm competetive...

The obvious solution would be to post more than once a day but as I mentioned that's something I'm trying to avoid during Blapril. I posted more than once a day a few times last Blaugust and wasn't a great idea.

It became quite obvious that we all only have so much time and enthusiasm for reading blogs, myself included. Most of the year demand tends to outstrip supply but in Blaugust and now Blapril there's a surfeit of delights. I don't want to step on my own toes by slamming up posts faster than anyone's going to read them. Plus I also have a feeling that as people wake up around the world and check their RSS feeds or however they read their blogs they'll see the most recent post and stop with that.

Currently (Saturday) I have one post banked plus the one I'm writing. The banked one is about three days old now. I've leapfrogged it twice already. I'm getting increasingly uncomfortable leaving it to fester. We're not talking wine or cheese here. Like its author it's unlikely to improve with age.

What I probably ought to do is publish the elderly post tomorrow (Sunday) and save this one for Monday. We'll see if that happens. [Edit - It did].

Actually, what I should have done is not have written this post at all. It isn't even remotely the post I sat down to write. I was planning on doing something about the current promotions in the EverQuest games. This was just going to be a short introductory paragraph and now look at it...

So, here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to cut this short and bank it. Then I'm going to write the post I meant to write and publish that. That way I'll have posted twice in one day, which is breaking one self-imposed rule, but I'll have put a time-critical post online and still have two posts in reserve. So, win-win-lose... or something.

If I carry on this way there will be trouble, I just know it. I'm hoping articulating the problems will give me some perspective on handling them. If indeed there are any problems other than me overthinking everything once again, as usual.

Or I could just keep muddling along, I guess. That usually works. And let's be realistic here - it's not like I have anything more important to be doing right now...

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