(although not necessarily anything good)
In my informal “nothing to say” series, I have typically taken advantage of having nothing that I really wanted to write about to do a retrospective on how many words this blog has spewed forth. But last time I had nothing to say, I said something instead. Which means it wasn’t really a post with nothing to say. This is a post in the “nothing to say” series, but it actually has something to say, so it’s the opposite of a “nothing to say” post just like the other one was, but in the other direction. It’s a good thing I believe in balance and paradox, elsewise all this saying something while having nothing to say would really scramble my brains.
So, where do we stand? Well, as I mused in that previously mentioned non-post, I’ve gone ahead and recategorized many of my “interstitial” posts as “partial” plus some other label. For instance, if I wrote about not having time for a full post because of various goings-on in my life like birthdays or house-hunting or what-have-you, I labeled that as “partial” plus “family.” Or if I went into some detail about a problem I was dealing with at work, that would be “partial” plus “technology” (or perhaps “partial” plus “business” if it was less of a technical problem and more of a corporate or workplace issue). Whereas, if I just said, “I’ve got no time to post this week; sorry” then that I left as a true “interstitial.”
With this new system, about 62% of the former “interstitial” posts are now “partial” instead, making “Perl” now the top category, followed by “partial” (which almost doesn’t count any more, since there aren’t any posts which are only labeled “partial”), followed by “family,” then “fiction” (meaning my ongoing novel), and then “music.” Not too shoddy.
There are now 333 posts altogether. If we look at it from an estimation viewpoint, we should not count the “interstitial"s at all, and we should count the “partial"s as perhaps ⅓ of the word count of a regular post. So that would give us just over 400,000 words. Doing an actual count of my source files yields closer to 340,000, but that doesn’t include my novel. (It does, however, eliminate some of the problems that I reported with previous word counts of files: I’ve now separated out what’s actually published from my working drafts for future posts, and I’m now using my more sophisticated script which discounts words in block quotes, URLs, footnotes, and so forth. So this is far more accurate than ever before.) Adding in the novel bumps us up another 60,000 words, roughly, which puts us right at that 400,000 figure again. (In fact, even if I stop rounding, there’s less than 2,000 words difference in the two methods.) So that seems a rational number to go with: 251 full posts and 51 partial ones for a total of about 400k in terms of words.
Which is overall not a terrible output for roughly six and a half years’ work. It’s about 1200 words a week, on average. Sure, Stephen King is pumping out more, but he doesn’t have a full-time job on the side. (Well, I guess pumping out words is his full-time job, to look at it another way. But you get where I’m coming from.) It’s respectable, is what I’m saying. Nothing to be ashamed of.
Now, whether that sort of pace can continue for another 6½ years or not, I can’t say. Part of me feels like it’s not sustainable. But part of me wants to try it and see. So—for now at least—that’s the part of me I’m listening to.
Hope you’ll stick around to find out as well.