Yes, I thought that was a heading that would catch the interest of my readers. I have had what I hope is a brainwave – an idea that could result in the production of a best selling book. The good news is that I want to share this project with several other people, each taking an equal share of the profit. The bad news is that the benefits, by the nature of the project, are to say the least, some way off in the future.
“So what is this brainwave for a best selling book?” I hear you cry. Here it is:-
I’m looking for four or five other people, as well as myself, to record a typical day in their life each year for the next twenty years. On that specific day each year (say for example, the first Wednesday in May) they would attempt to do the same things, year after year, whilst making observations of the changing world around them. They would record what was making the news headlines, the latest crazes, the sort of clothes they were wearing, the price of their purchases; whilst doing a collection of the mundane and interesting things that go to make up an average day.
Imagine if this had been done for say the period 1956 to 1975. What a lot of interesting changes would have been observed and recorded even by people going about their everyday lives. Or the period from say 1978 to 1997. In fact I suspect that for any 20 year period in history the changes would make a fascinating read.
I think we would need a variety of people – male and female, urban and rural, married and single, from their late twenties to their early fifties – to get the most out of the project. It would need people in a somewhat settled routine for continuity. It would be no use for example for a 7 year old to transition into a 27 year old (from CBBC to Panorama) as that would be about their own transition rather than the changes in the world about them. Likewise people shouldn’t be too old at the start of the project as we would want them to complete the project whilst still being healthy and active (and alive!).
If each person’s annual observations ran to about three pages of text that would produce 60 pages over the 20 years. With five or six people that would give a 300-360 page book.
I think if it was then published in 2029 it could have the potential to catch the public’s imagination and become a bestseller. Best case scenario – it would be on everybody's Christmas present list and ultimately become the Samuel Pepy’s Diary of 21st Century. Worse case is that no one would interested, but even then, the people undertaking their project would have collected some interesting observations for their own family history and their future generations.
So is anybody interested? I would look to share the future proceeds in equal shares so I’m looking for no additional reward for the initial concept. Some outline legal and confidentiality agreement would be needed for everyone’s protection. Everyone taking part would have to commit to the project for 20 years – effectively agreeing to maintain as far as possible the same activities on one unique day each year for twenty years. So what do you think? And more to the point, are you interested in taking part?