2,000 Days

This post marks the point at which press.exe has had a daily post every day for 2,000 days.

I’m honestly not sure how the math of that works. It feels like an unreal fact. After all, I know that in January 2023, the blog will have been up for 3,652 days (two leap years, ya see). The idea that only 1,652 days of that didn’t feature something being posted feels a little weird in my head. I can look at those numbers and mentally parse that it’s a bit like 3/4 of the blog’s existence has featured a post, but it still feels ridiculous. There are 3,276 posts on the blog (many of which won’t show up until after this date), which means that somehow, despite having months silent on the blog before I truly fell into the habit of daily posting, there’s only about a year of time to jam into that particular pocket of air.

Part of this mindset shift is that I remember that I started posting daily in June 2017, which feels like ‘three years ago,’ but it really isn’t. It’s closer to seven years ago, and when I parse that and think that the first three and a half years of the blog featured things like a weekly story post to keep myself going on it, and suddenly there’s a little less time to fit that ‘year’ of Not Posting.

Okay, how did I post two thousand days in a row?

First things first is I didn’t really plan to do it (and I don’t plan on changing). There was some part of me, at the time back in June 2017 that noticed a streak of a few days’ worth of posting and decided to see if I could keep it going. Then keep that going, and so on, until here we are. It isn’t like I advertised this blog as ‘a daily blog’ — the promise was always ‘I will post when I can and if I don’t, then you have not been deprived of anything.’ I think that if an article didn’t go up on a day, nobody would particularly notice or contact me to check if I was okay. You make big habits out of small habits.

First thing then is that I didn’t hit a big number because I set out to. I hit a big number because I got in the habit of doing it and I got in the habit of doing it because it was gratifying to my particular mental mode to do it. I have not ever heard someone contact me to say ‘I love your blog, it’s so reliable.’ I know that the readership of this blog, speaking from what I’ve been able to glean, don’t read all of it; everything gets read, a little, but a vanishingly small number of readers, every day, see the post that goes up and goes ‘ah, yes, this moment’ and go read it. Post regularly because you want to, not because it demands audience behaviour.

Rather, instead, I shake out my brain and let a little fall out and scoop up bits for people. Some people like the How To Be articles and read them as a big archival dump. Other people like the Game Pile or Story Pile stuff. I have to assume that hypothetically, I have at least one youtube subscriber who does not know I have a blog, or if they do, do not care. Not everything needs to be for everyone in the audience.

At some point in my bullet journals, I made a calendar to ensure I didn’t have a collision on two posts going up at the same time, and that little calendar drawing grew and sprawled until I finally made a digital copy of it. I needed it digitally, because I kept writing on two different computers; my desktop, and my laptop, which I used when I was at the uni (as a student, then as a teacher) and otherwise ‘out.’ Unconsciously, this calendar made me better at recognising things like the passage of time, and keeping to a daily schedule, and being aware of things that I used to have to look up. Don’t worry, I still have to check which months have 31 days, but I’m a little less inclined to feel like a new month sneaks up on me, or that summer happens ‘at some point.’ I’ve gotten into noticing how often I get takeout, or how many things ‘feel’ like they took ages that didn’t. Building habits can have knock-on effects.

Another thing I can attribute to getting to this many posts, over this much time, is Building Structures To Build Structures. At first, the (a?) goal of this blog was to get me some fiction writing chops, to build an audience who would like the stories I was telling. I set out to write a story every week, and that was how I wrote three books, which was pretty cool, and a good habit to be in. The biggest droughts in the blog’s posting were those points where I failed at doing those things – with the Mycroft Mysteries and the Wolf Year posts being much worse at keeping me engaged with the story and its telling. This structure is also where I got the regular features of Game Pile and Story Pile.

I also keep track of a sort of set of subjects, and if I make a post on that type on the blog in a month, which means I don’t overdose on a topic at a time, and spread them out, which can mean that I recontextualise work and don’t just do a big brain-dump all at once.

Most of all, though, the thing that got me here is a lot of pre-existing privilege. I can have a blog where I say some pretty inflammatory things and even if someone gets mad at me about it, the worst that happens is they make fun of me on their forums somewhere. I’ve annoyed TERFs, Gamergaters, Channers (but I kinda repeat myself), Ripperologists and Death Note fans and the result of that is … nothing. Literally nothing. I have a computer, I can afford having a computer, I have webspace that I can afford, I have the free time to write and I am connected to an existing discourse that means people pay some attention to what I’m saying and parse the ways I hook their attention with a degree of respect. I get to do this because I get to do this, and that’s cool, but also: I know there are a lot of people who do not, and I only differ from them not because of drive or brain meats or habits or whatever, but because I just got lucky to be born where and how I am and integrating into pre-existing systems, most of which are pretty shitty.

Some posts are going to be kinda bad. I tend to think of meta posts as not being interesting. I feel like I need to make them, especially because I know there’s at least one reader who’s like, half my age, and who is often overwhelmed by the scop of ‘making anything,’ so being honest about what I’m doing can help demystify that for them. I do wrap-up posts to direct attention to things because I’m trying to teach myself to have pride in my work and to assist those readers who only click through occasionally. I try to keep from venting my bad feelings, but that’s also part of a habit: I think that if I got into that habit, I wouldn’t stop, and the whole blog would be a spiral. Even trying to avoid that, I know there are times I talk about total downers and get mad about them.

In the end, I don’t know how many people have read these two thousand days of daily blogging and I don’t know how many of them are happy they did it. That’s kind of what I need to do, even if I really, really like praise and would like more of it, thanks. To do this, you’ve got to be willing to shout into a bucket.

A lot.