42. Six weeks.


I’m trying to do a hundred posts in a hundred days, and get 60 000 views while doing so. And I’m just about half way there. In terms of posts. Views, not so much. With those, I’m half way to half way there. Oh well.

I’m starting to get into the swing of things. For the last few weeks, I’ve struggled to come up with ideas for things I really wanted to write about. This week I turned the corner. I have the answer. Structure. Planning. Organisation.

From now on, this is what Sundays will look like in the 23thorns household.

From now on, this is what Sundays will look like in the 23thorns household.

I sat down last Sunday and said to myself “That’s it! You need a plan here.” I didn’t actually say that. I don’t often talk to myself, and if I do, I’m not that polite. People who talk to themselves are weirdos, and besides, I am far too busy arguing with imaginary or real, but absent adversaries. It frightens the children, but I always seem to win, which is good for my self-esteem. But I digress.

My plan involved monkeys. All the best plans do. I would write three posts about the monkeys of the Lowveld. Half the week taken care of. Easy. And so, of course, I awoke the next morning and wrote about dancing. The next day I got to the poo-flingers. But not the monkeys. Politicians. Then I got round to the monkeys. And the Bushbabies. And the baboons.

I have never been very good at doing what I’m told. It’s not that I am some sort of brooding James Dean type or anything. It’s just that I have the focus and the attention span of a Jack Russell puppy on Benzedrine. Somehow knowing that I have a defined task laid out in front of me inspires me to wander off and do something else. So that’s it. No more writers block. If I set myself a strict schedule to ignore, I will never run out of ideas.

Bad example. I gave these Jack Russell puppies some Benzedrine, and they ended up looking pretty damned focussed.

Bad example. I gave these Jack Russell puppies some Benzedrine, and they ended up being pretty damned focussed. Not only did they take down a postman, they managed to sell his bike on the black market, too.

It was quite fun to see where the ideas came from. On Monday, I was going to write about Bushbabies. And then I read in the news that the lead singer of Yothu Yindi had died. I liked Yothu Yindi. So I Googled them for old time’s sake. And up came Midnight Oil, who were apparently quite close to them. So I Googled them for old time’s sake. And up came Peter Garrett. Who dances like a PCP addict with Alien Hand Syndrome. Post sorted.

On Tuesday, I was going to write about monkeys, but there were politicians flinging human poo around. Post sorted.

Something else has happened that is quite interesting. I have written about South African wildlife since I started this blog. But I started at the bottom. With creepy crawlies. It was sometimes quite tricky finding enough interesting stuff to make a post seem worthwhile. Now the opposite is starting to happen. Take baboons, for example.

Creepy crawlies are just boring.

Creepy crawlies are just boring.

First of all, baboons are incredibly complex and interesting creatures. They are smart. They live in large, socially complex groups. They steal. Secondly, people have spent a great deal of time studying them. We know an awful lot about baboons. I could have gone on forever. Writing about wildlife in future is going to be as much about knowing what to leave out as finding stuff to put in.

And the thing is, I’m not hugely fond of baboons. By the time I get to things I really like, like Hyenas and Elephants, not writing a book each time is going to be quite tricky. But fun in its own way.

The research is quite fun, too, and every now and then, you stumble on something unexpected. The best explanation I got for a weird blog I stumbled across was that it was written by a machine in order to fool another machine. Apparently, as the computer-writing detector-machines get better at weeding out computer generated content, the computer-writing machines get better at writing like people. Nice. I got to see the genesis of Skynet from the Terminator movies.

We were wrong. They weren't bent on world domination. Just search engine optimisation.

We were wrong. They weren’t bent on world domination. Just search engine optimisation.

Just another six weeks to go. Wish me luck. Here’s your vote for the week. Have a good one.

44 thoughts on “42. Six weeks.

  1. Nylabluesmum says:

    That stream of conciousness was amazing…I felt like I was at Wonderland on the upside down double looping rollercoaster!!! You can Google Wonderland in Canada if you want!!! Give you something else to divert your attention while trying to write a blog!!!
    I do apologize for not getting here to read until now. My life is like a Tilt-A-Whirl ride!! I save up a bazillion of your blogs & then it takes me hours to read them, lol….
    So on to the next blog…I better strap myself in tight!!!!
    Sherri-Ellen T-D.

  2. Meg says:

    You amuse me. 🙂 Thanks so much for being out there.

  3. Max Shields says:

    Go little blue line, go! Keep clawing your way upwards!

  4. narf77 says:

    This entire post smacks of one of those compilation shows where we are given sippets of other shows Mr 23Thorns…recap shows sir?! I guess we will give you the benefit of the doubt and call this a “regroup post”…after the bivouac we will set forth into new and more challenging territories…who knows where we might find ourselves? A quick visit to the “Mail and Guardian” online website might just give us some ideas…lets see…Mr Mandela is sacred…NO posts about him. “Next!”…I see that one “Julius Malema” has launched a political party that revolves around condoms. Consider me voting for Mr Julius Malema in our upcoming elections. Not only have I discovered something about South African news that I didn’t (and most certainly WOULDN’T) know before my search, but I now have a new box to tick in our own personal elections. A picture of a horses derierre would be comical enough but drawing a box, writing Mr Malema’s name next to it and ticking that box? That is going to make someone out there think for about half a second before throwing my vote into the “INGRATES!” pile. Are the ANC Youth akin to aliens Mr 23Thorns? I just saw a headline touting “ANC Youth League task team dissolves four provinces…” dissolving provinces?! And you are talking about baboons? Methinks you are keeping the good stuff from us sir! Wait a minute…it might have been your kind heart methinks…the next headline reads “ANC Youth League too broke to pay debts…” perhaps you were sparing them the ignomy of facing up to their actions when they haven’t got 2 brass baboons to rub together. This African news stuff is fascinating Mr 23Thorns. I might start reading this instead of languishing and lamenting (yelling and yodelling is more appropriate) about our own political state of affairs. I hope the hobbit had a great birthday party by the way. She seems to have managed to create a wonderful atmosphere for the party all by herself. Kudos hobbit, the next step is getting dad to hand over the car keys…

    • 23thorns says:

      Mr Mandela appears to be dying, so now he’s even more off limits. As for the Youth League, I wouldn’t even know where to begin, except to say that the dissolving of provinces seems to be a result of their having squandered or stolen all of their own money.

  5. Buzzwordz says:

    FYI I keep coming back and voting for the live earthworm feeding! I will buy you the beer to wash it down with!

  6. No matter how depressed I am on a given day, I can count on this blog to be my Prozac. Or ecstasy, or something. Actually, I have no experience with mind altering drugs so I’m not sure what to compare it to. (Maybe a free counseling session?–that seems too boring.)

  7. PinotNinja says:

    “the attention span of a Jack Russell puppy on Benzedrine” — I am going to have to “borrow” this phrase from you because it is just so good.

  8. sisteranan says:

    i am so calling the Green Party about that earthworm.

  9. mud4fun says:

    LOL, you aren’t doing too bad really. I’ve just passed 60K views with my 146 posts over two years although most of those visitors have come in from google image searches rather than wordpress reader or tag searches. Maybe you should do a couple more Land Rover related posts? 🙂

    • 23thorns says:

      I’ll get there sometime soon. Old Land Rovers.

      • mud4fun says:

        PS. If you want to get your stat count up you could always do a post with a gallery on it, stick ten pictures in it and due to the bug that wordpress still haven’t fixed (despite me complaining about it 6 months ago) you’ll get 10 page hits for every vistior instead of one as long as they scroll through all the pics in the gallery. So your 15K page hits would now be 150K hits – simples init 😉

  10. menomama3 says:

    2 things.
    1. I can’t believe the earthworm vote is in 2nd place. Clearly this vote is rigged.
    2. I have the same approach as you to a defined task – namely dieting. As soon as I tell myself I’m on a diet I immediately eat my current weight in chocolate.

  11. mariekeates says:

    I’m one of the weirdos who talks to themselves. Drives Commando nuts which is all the more reason for doing it though 🙂 besides its the only way to get a sensible conversation round here.

  12. Thanks for stopping by…loved your recent entry. I am on several journal lists and they have “thought starters for each day..its rather interesting.

  13. why we’re (sort of) on the subject of weird phenomena of the blogosphere, is there a techy explanation for why my like/gravatar always seems to be beside the guy with the tan jacket and Stetson?

  14. safia says:

    Ah, now I know why you keep popping up on my reader – a post every day is commitment – respect! But 60,000 views over 100 days? That is really ambitious. I’ll do my best to help you out in my own small way. Best of luck.

  15. JustI says:

    I clicked on ‘Buy me a beer’ and all I got was PayPal…dang! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I’m doing my part to help you make the 60,000 goal 🙂

    • 23thorns says:

      Oh dear. You should put a hundred dollars in there so we can try to work out what’s going on. If it comes through, I’ll buy the beers on my side.

  16. The Rider says:

    Save the earthworm! Good luck with 60000 views, I trying my best to help you get there…

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