July 15, 2010

Bulk view

Playing the long game: writing, raw material, and backups

One of my long-term goals is to share what I’m learning in life. I want to write books and memoirs and essays. Over the decades, I’m going to collect raw material, polishing and refining along the way.

With such a long timeframe, I don’t trust my blog. Things happen. Servers die. Backups get corrupted. Printing selected blog posts on paper might help me recover interesting things in case of catastrophic online failure.

I trimmed my Aug 2008 – Aug 2009 posts down to 106 pages. My thesis had been 72 single-sided pages, so I knew 53 double-sided pages was a manageable size. I picked up a ream of three-hole paper to avoid the hassle of punching accurate holes. Considering the cost of toner and paper, it comes out to about $0.05 per content page – less than the cost of printing outside.

Besides, our laser toner cartridge is running low, and it’s good to use the remaining toner on non-crucial printouts like this. I printed out five sheets at a time so that I could check whether the text was too light to read. The last few pages were light, but still legible.

What am I learning?

  • I saved very few of my technical posts. I saved most of my reflections on productivity and happiness. I saved some of my presentation-related posts.
  • Lightly edited, one year is actually a very manageable number of blog posts.
  • You don’t need a fancy book. A three-ring binder is fine.
  • Mirror margins, duplex printing, plus lots of experimentation = neat printouts
  • Goodness, I’ve written a lot. It doesn’t seem that way one day at a time, but there’s still a lot in here. Two pages of decent stuff each week? That’s doable.

Next step: revisit my posts from when I was 24…