Back to the future

One of those apparently brilliant but on reflection ghastly ideas was posted on Contemporary Nomad the other week, a post about Future Me. It is a website where you can write an email to yourself and specify when it is delivered, weeks, months, years into the future.

You can choose to make your emails public or private, and Olen Steinhauer has selected a couple of examples. Funny or painful? You tell me.

June 2010

"Dear Me

So have you retired then? Have you written that novel you were always going to write when you had the time? Did anyone read it? Did anyone publish it?

And little Johnny, he did marry Princess Eugenie, didn’t he? And Sally became the first woman president of the USA like you always said?"

Ok, I’ll stop there, but you get the picture.

Future Me website is here. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

3 thoughts on “Back to the future

  1. I have done something similar, but it’s more like my present self reminding my future self where I’m at.
    When I write it’s often addressed to a future version of myself or at least to an imaginary reader in the distant future. I think it’s because when I read something that hits the spot, I imagine the writer in the act of writing those words I’m reading and there is a connection.

  2. You know, it’s funny, I had the exact same thought as you on that nomad post! I didn’t look at the site, but I thought about it for one second and then dismissed with horror the idea of writing a note to my future self. What could it possibly say that would be good? I’d like to write various notes to my PAST selves, sure: that would be helpful. (1. You will save yourself a lot of trouble later on if you just start exercising now & keep it up regularly. 2. Someone will publish your novel in the end, don’t despair. 3. Life is never again so truly dire as it seems when you are seventeen. etc. etc. etc.) But notes to future selves are surely only self-satisfied or reproachful: either telling you how great things will be (silly if they are, maddening if they are not) or else reminding your future self of present unhappiness in a way that seems entirely pointless!

  3. Jenny, that is so right! If only I could write to my 16 year old self and say “Do English Literature — stand up to them!” etc. Not sure if I would have taken any notice, but hope I would! And I do agree with your summary of the pointlessness of doing it now. (unless it is purely practical like reminding yourself where you planted those seeds to be delivered next spring in time to stop yourself from digging them up because you forgot you planted them and think they are weeds when they begin to come up.)
    And Skint, that is a truly fascinating thought. The “you” one writes to being a person in the future. That must give a special perspective to one’s writing, it is a very interesting concept.
    Thanks both for those spot-on (Jenny) and thought-provoking (both) comments.

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