The Ten-Minute Time Machine

This week, the Ten-Minute Blog Break celebrates its second birthday. I wanted to do something a bit different to mark the occasion, so I hope you'll join me for a very special trip back in time...


My first impulse was to simply present you with the very first Blog Break from two years ago. But that would have been extremely lazy, and anyway, two years are a mere blip in the life of a writer. Many of our bloggers have been active far longer than that, which set me to wondering. What were they like when they were just starting out? How has their work and outlook changed in the meantime? Because the internet never forgets, I'm able to answer those questions right now!

Kathy Evans first blogged as her Mrs Bung persona five years ago, in March 2010. Apparently, she first had to "fish her blog out from behind the internet with some sort of coat hanger contraption" and then craft this delightful opening post that endeavours to "write nice things about people."

Kathy's post mentions Candy Gourlay's book launch for Tall Story, but Candy had already been blogging for quite some time by then. For instance, here's the first month of Notes from the Slushpile - November 2004. As if that wasn't far enough back in the mists of internet history, Candy then pointed me to her even earlier site Mum at Work which is just the most amazing time capsule!

I don't know how it's been allowed to happen that SCBWI stalwart Jon Mayhew has not yet appeared on the Blog Break proper. Nonetheless, I'm including him here because I loved his second-ever blog post from March 2009 about getting his debut book deal for Mortlock. It's a post that made me smile, sigh and nod with recognition.

We haven't heard much from Nicky Schmidt on the Blog Break for a while, though she's still very much active on Words & Pictures with her debut author series. Nicky began blogging at Absolute Vanilla way back in July 2007, and her debut blog post is quite a piece of work. I'd appreciate anyone who can explain what the five-foot alien chicken is all about!

Sarah McIntyre started her LiveJournal site in June 2006, back when she was still in art college. To start with, she seems tentative, posting the odd picture she has drawn. But by August/September that same year, she'd started to become the awesome blogging machine we know and love! Consider, for example, this gawky teenage Japanese Trinity, these beautiful sketches of the East End or this crazy collage of her commute. You can see how Sarah was experimenting with different styles and not knowing which to plump for - this last image expresses her difficulties with choosing a direction for her final project.

Finally, I thought I'd indulge myself by flashing back to my very first month of blogging. October 2009 was an auspicious time for me, as it was when I received the call about Undiscovered Voices. My very first blog post was called "Arriving Fully Formed", a title that I suppose expressed my own aspirations about bursting onto the scene of children's publishing (though the post itself was about world-building via the unusual example of the TV series Friends!) I actually wrote the original post on the now defunct British SCBWI Ning, and I'm very glad that I decided to cross-post it onto my own blog for posterity.

I hope you've enjoyed this trip into the recent past, and why not join the party by adding a link to your very first blog post in the comments section? We'll be traveling back to the present with a jolt next week for some up-to-the-minute Blog Breakery.

Nick.


A SCBWI member since 2009, Nick Cross is a children's writer, Undiscovered Voices winner, occasional blogger, ex-zombie and part-time superhero for two hours every Wednesday evening (but only after putting the bins out).

He also writes children's short fiction for Stew Magazine.

13 comments:

  1. Cheating - here are my first and second blogs combined. https://mskahoward.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/once-upon-a-time/
    Not a lot of time travel involved, I'm afraid.

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    1. Everyone has to start somewhere, Kim. From little acorns...

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  2. What a great idea, Nick! Thanks for the mention of my old blog which was pre Blogger/ Wordpress!

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  3. Sarah McIntyre has such a different style today! One of the reasons I love blogging is you can trace the evolution of a person (if they've been blogging long enough ). When I read mine I re experience every single rejection I ever had, the doubt, and that burning desire to make it to publication. You see the creation of you.

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    1. I think it would be fascinating to pick one person and ten of their blog posts across the years that delineate their journey. But it would also take a huge amount of research! Maybe something for the future?

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  4. This was just fab - Don't know about 10 minutes, I just lost an hour! Thank you Nick :)

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  5. I love this idea of seeing the seams of a person's creative journey laid bare. Something that would have previously been hidden away ...

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  6. Thanks Nick. Really enjoyed that :-)

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  7. LOL - what a brilliant idea, Nick! And thanks for the mention! I was wondering why I suddenly had a comment on from Kathy on my first Vanilla blogpost!
    To explain the chicken you can ask Addy Farmer, who helped encourage me with my very first blog - written by an alien chicken called Atyllah the Hen who, with her were-chicken grandmother, took serious potshots at the world of humans! Atyllah was determined not to be left out of the new blog - unfortunately, life had other ideas - but I feel sure Atyllah is waiting in the wings to administer a savage peck.

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    1. Nicky - I'd assumed you were writing a book about the chicken, but the real answer is both better and weirder than that!

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  8. That was brilliant Nick! Thank you

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  9. Great blog break this week Nick! It lovely to see fab blogs in their infancy!

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  10. Fantastic journey back in time! Brilliant idea Nick - great fun reading them all.

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