Philatelic Pursuits was my first stamp blog, started just over five years ago on 25 May 2015. Before that, I wrote about my collecting activities as an American expat living in Phuket, Thailand, on my personal blog Asian Meanderings.
In the beginning, I struggled for content as I felt inadequate as a philatelic writer (I still do) and many of the first posts were stamp issuer profiles (I use the word “entity” to cover all those countries, territories, organizations, occupied areas, etc. that have released stamps) or accounts of stamps and covers that I received in the mail.
On 1 July 2016, I started a parallel blog with the idea of posting a single stamp each and every day and describing the subject matter shown on that stamp (originally, the articles were alphabetical by the entity with a few special dates profiled and were rather brief; as time went on, the focus was on the topic portrayed and became increasingly lengthy). I did not miss a day on A Stamp A Day for 1,000 straight days. Currently, I try to post on that blog once or twice each MONTH.
On Philatelic Pursuits, it took me more than two years to reach my ONE HUNDREDTH post (a postmark calendar for September 2017, an idea which I would like to continue at some point). My favorite entry from the pre-100 is probably “Philatelic Phun With Photoshop” (I have never been particularly good at graphic design but I always enjoy the process of creation). By the end of that year and continuing into 2018, I was posting a number of articles showcasing new issues around common themes in addition to trying to keep abreast of stamps being released by Thailand and a few other entities. I did a few link wrap-up articles and did a few showcases of designs I created for my personal local post.
In January 2019 I made my first feeble attempts at listing new stamp releases from EVERYWHERE. The biggest problem was that I had a single page for each month, along with the images. It wasn’t long before the January and February pages become completely unwieldy and I simply hated trying to wait for the images to load so I could begin adding more!
I was still highly involved with A Stamp A Day and would spend around four hours (sometimes more) working on it each day in addition to other activities (not to mention teaching full-time). The first of January that year saw Post #918 and sometime around then I decided to keep it going until I hit one thousand. I just didn’t have much time to do anything else although I certainly tried. My non-stop streak on ASAD came to an end on 25 March 2019 with post #1001 (had to have a bonus day) and I took a short break from blogging other than a few weekly posts to Philatelic Pursuits until that July.
In September, I began seeing the first announcements for stamps to be released in 2020. I believe the first one I saw was the Europa issue from Finland featuring Santa Claus in his sleigh; I was amazed that they planned to release this holiday-themed stamp in May until I learnt the Europa theme was to be “Ancient Postal Routes”, a subject I have long been interested in. Around the middle of October, I decided that I would try to track all of the stamp issues for the upcoming year having hit on some ideas at improved organization. At that stage, I knew that it would be a difficult undertaking as I wanted to include as many stamps as I possibly could. I decided that I would only do the “EVERYTHING” approach for the one year (future years will probably see selected topicals only).
My first New Issues 2020 post for Philatelic Pursuits was for a stamp from Canada, which I published on 30 October 2019 (Post #154). The first article for the New Year was #322 and I reached the 500th post on 27 February 2020. Here we are at #1,000 nearing the end of June. The year has had some really unexpected twists (as well as a completely new and popular topical). I never foresaw that I would spend three months (and counting) completely out-of-work and shut off from the outside world.
Well, the New Issues keep coming in fast and furious so let’s get back to them…. Still working on Spain and then I will attempt to bring Germany, Russia and Israel up-to–date while weaving through a myriad of other entities. There are almost 150 that I am currently tracking.
Pandemic or not, the stamps never stop.