Friday, 31 October 2008


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?


Kitty said...

You can bet your bottom dollar that if I signed up for something that required a degree of similarity between my days for the next 20 years, that one year in, all hell would break loose, and the whole plan would go horribly t*ts up.

It's a great idea though - I shall ponder it. And tip off anyone I think might do it.

Good luck with it. :-)

DJ Kirkby said...

I think it is an excellent idea but..what if some of the people you sign up do die before the end of the 20 years?

Carol said...

That's a fantastic idea....I would definately be up for it if I thought that we would have some kind of normal routine for the next 20 years!!

C x

Trixie said...

The way I lead my life... I can't see me being around in 20 years, lol.

French Fancy... said...

I'm game (I think). Just got to eat healthily and stay alive.

(waves to all the bloggers I recognise on here)

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

I think this sounds like a wonderful idea, and would certainly be tempted to take part. Mind you I don't know how interesting my bit would be.

Troy said...

Thanks for all the positive feedback so far.

DJ - you raise a good point for me to ponder.

Trixie - I'm sure you'll live long and prosper but the book might have to go on the top shelf!

I'm a little short of chaps showing any interest so far. Just shows what a female-centric place is Blogland. Come on the lads, let's hear from you!

Elaine Denning said...

It's a fantastc idea, but as I'm about as unsettled as one could possibly be, I think I'll have to opt out!

Troy said...

The "Working title" of the book:-

1 day
6 people
20 years

but I'd welcome other suggestions.

DJ Kirkby said...

I like your title but in a different order:
6 people
1 day
20 years
Still not sure if I am brave enough to sign up for 20 years, not trying to be silly but am just not sure if I will live that long.

DAB said...

I'm liking your quirky idea, not sure if I'll ne around in 20 years time. Are you going to add any photos to this book? TF

Anonymous said...

It's a good idea. Why not 10 years?

CJ xx

Troy said...

Elaine - welcome back, long time no hear!

DJ - yes, agree that is better.

"Tom" - thanks for calling by. Yes I think the book will need photos of the crazes during the period - the equivalents of "hot pants" and Rubik Cube.

CJ - I don't think 10 years is long enough for there to be sufficient changes. Maybe 15 years would be better - at least a shorter wait for all those book sale payments!

Carol said...

I think 15 years would be easier!!

C x

DJ Kirkby said...

Hey, TF could do the book photos! She is a great photographer.

Anonymous said...

Great concept. I'd buy it. Would love to contribute, but my life is so unsettled that I will no doubt be living on the other side of the globe in 5 years time. Glad you had fun with 'faceinhole'.

Tim Atkinson said...

It's a wonderful idea; I'm game!

Troy said...

Thanks for the further comments - including a solitary male volunteer(hello to the dotterill). I think I'll leave this open for a few more days - I usually get passers-by after DJ's Wordless Wednesday caption comp. - then I'll have to work out how to take this project forward. I'm really chuffed with the positive reactions (and nobody has been rude about it yet!).

Please "Watch This Space".

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi Troy...I wish I could help but I am so flipping disorganised. I cannot sign up for 20 days never mind 20 years. Good idea though. Good luck with it!

DJ Kirkby said...

Please will you be my guest judge this week? Can you email me on to discuss?

Anonymous said...

Me again. You've just been tagged. Hee Hee.

Ladybird World Mother said...

Sounds like a good idea. Would love to do it.
(Very quietly, so no one can see, what the hell does 'you've been tagged' mean? You are techno it good, or is it bad?)

Troy said...

Hadriana - sorry to hear you rule yourself out as you would have been on the short list!

DJ - the honour is all mine.

TarteTartan - gee thanks! Give a few days to get my random thoughts together.

LWM - thanks for volunteering. I love your style of writing on your blog so you are definitely on the short list. I see from your own blog that Hadriana has already tagged you and that you are now wiser in these matters.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

OK Troy. You've persuaded me. The reason I am very hesitant is that I am not a very ordered person. Thinking about it in more detail..I try to think about the five things which may be the same year in, year out e.g.:
1. Reading a book
2. Driving a car
3. Paying bills
4. Using a computer
5. Watching TV
Yes, I could probably manage that!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Hey! You are pretty cool! I enjoy your blog! I am up for the Challenge, but could it be of shorter duration as I am sure to kick the bucket and be just a memory in 20 years..but then ..maybe a ghost writer could take over..Fascinating idea! Nice to meet you! You get an award by the way..You are the first man on blogspot to catch my eye. Too bad about that comet! I am also a very amateur night sky watcher, I do not blog about it very so few share my idea of fun:)

Jo said...

I think you've got a great idea here and I'd love to contribute, but I'll be pushing up daisies by the year 2029. If still on the planet I'll be an exceedingly grumpy old lady dribbling away in a corner with a G&T clutched in a shaky hand.
Love your photographs of my E Anglian homeland. I'll be back!

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