Sunday, October 8, 2017

What we have learned

As I prepare to travel to Paris I find myself needing to come up with a dozen or so ahead of time blog posts. After I write them I set them up to dispense one a day while I'm gone. And then the only difference between when I'm home, working and diligently writing posts daily, and this scheme is... well, there isn't any difference. Sometimes my blog just works like that naturally anyway. To you this blog may be the steadiest of metronomes, but to me fecundity comes and goes and I just have to make sure it averages out okay.

But it is a little different when I have to write a dozen, or two dozen, or even three dozen blog posts to prepare for a trip. So in the past I have come up with devices to help me with this. Because none of these have gone well I would like to reminisce about them in the hopes that I can learn something.

1. Ghostwriter!

The only time this blog ever broke from my relentless authorship was in its first summer. I got my friend Grape to write it. He agreed to write three posts for my vacation. I was thinking, when I asked him, he would say "Oh my god, you want me to write? I am profoundly honored! Name any number." And I would have named, oh, fifteen, and then he would have written them and they would have been so good I would be super jealous and it would have eaten away at our friendship. So I guess he knew what he was doing.

2. Befores and afters.

On this trip I was going to a lake house we sometimes go to. I set up a lot of ahead of time questions about the trip for me to answer after. And I made elaborate reading lists and set them up to report back on them. I learned here that the questions I so eagerly have about an upcoming trip are not the ones I want to answer when I come back, and that if I take ten extremely interesting books with me I will discard nine of them out of contempt or boredom after less than two pages and yet will come across seven books randomly on the trip that I will read cover to cover.

3. The fake trip.

Last year we went away for five weeks, and I came up with an elaborate device. I wrote a day to day fictional anticipation of what my wife and I would be doing on that actual day of our trip. Sadly my account was too naturalistic and the whole thing confused many of my readers who thought this was an actual journal of the trip in real time. So when I got back no one wanted to hear about my trip because they had already read about it. When I explained that they had merely read a fictional version of my trip they were surprised, but, alas, they nevertheless felt satisfied with what they'd already read.

And so, what have we learned?

We have learned that I should probably write shorter posts because I still have, like eight to go!

We have also learned that learning is overrated.

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