If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll be aware of a deep and embarrassing irony at work. Like all bloggers, I secretly long to be Taken Seriously. I want to make people stroke their chins, furrow their brows and fiddle absent-mindedly with their pipes while pondering my words, before rattling off a terribly excited telegraph to the Royal Society.
(Look, I know this fantasy needs updating. It’s on my list. I’ll get to it.)
The tragedy of it all is that if you look at my most popular posts (they’re listed in a box on the right of the screen), you’ll find something called 50 Amazingly Achievable Things To Do Before You Die. I actually wrote it back in 2005 in a previous incarnation of this blog. When I reposted it here in April 2010, it went nuts. It now ranks 6th in the world, out of 215 million hits, for the Google search “things to do before you die”. That’s how nuts it went.
Last year, I got an e-mail from Catherine Lee Jun-Yi, a graphic designer based in the Netherlands operating under the brand name of Goodputty. She had been sat on the train one day, bored to tears and looking for something to do – and what she did was take my 50 amazingly achievable things and swank them up into poster format. Would I like a copy? Stone-hearted freelancer that I am, I immediately wondered what her sales pitch was. Did she want royalties? Did I get the first hundred free? Nope – she didn’t want anything for it. It was mine. MINE.
I immediately slapped a copyright notice on it and sued her ass.
I kid. I’ve had it on my hard-drive for a year. I’ve also had it on my wall for a year, because one of the last things I did before I quit my printing shop job in York was to print this poster and get it laminated, as a reminder to never take myself too seriously, to care about reaching readers, not traffic, and to always make sure I have a documented excuse for doing enormously stupid things. (For example: “Yes, I’m totally lost and all the locals are laughing at me – but it’s because I’m writing something for Gadling“).
If you want a copy of the poster, click on the thumbnail to the left, and you’ll go to the full-size version. Feel free to share it, publish it, ignore it, send it to your friends as proof that I’ll never make it as a Serious Writer as you’ve been telling them for years…do what you like, except for just a couple of things. Please don’t make money off it, please don’t alter it, and please give credit to Catherine and my blog post.
Also? If you popped over to Catherine’s blog and said thanks, I’d be very grateful.
If you did that, it would go a long way to covering up the fact that I haven’t thanked her properly for nearly a year. A long way. Come on. Just for me.
Images: Catherine Lee Jun-Yi