That’s funny: I had the impression that I was writing less this year. My stats confirm that in 2021, I published only 1,202 posts on Dakota Free Press. That’s down from the previous six-year average of 1,411 posts per year. But when I look at the content of the posts, I find I was writing longer posts—26.5% longer than the 2015–2020 annual average—and ended up producing 20.6 novels worth of blog content, the same as my peak output year of 2018:
That’s funny: I had the impression that I was producing a few fewer blog posts this year, and my stats confirm that in 2021, I published only 1,202 posts on Dakota Free Press. That’s down from the previous six-year average of 1,411 posts per year. But when I look at the content of the posts, I find I was writing longer posts—26.5% longer by word count* than the 2015–2020 annual average—and ended up producing 20.6 novels worth of blog content, the same as my peak output year of 2018:
|Year||Posts||Words||Words per Post||Novel Equivs|
I don’t set out to write 20 books a year, but there they are, or at least the textual equivalent, 1,202 essays, analyses, arguments, critiques, jokes, and etceterals, mostly produced first thing in the morning, often before sunrise (and at least one every day before breakfast). I don’t review and rewrite these posts the way better authors rework their novels—heck, I need you readers’ help just to catch many of my own typos! I mostly compose extemporaneously, with no outline, often without knowing what sources I’ll use or what conclusions I’ll reach by the end of the post.
These 1,202 posts in 2021 (ah! mirror image!) also lack the cohesion of a good novel… although one could argue that they include several evolving threads of ongoing stories all braided together into one prairie liberal’s persistently hopeful confrontation with ignorance and one-party rule. Surely someday we can boil all of that down to at least one good novel… or maybe nice non-fungible tokens to fund my retirement on Mars.
Since March 2015, I’ve posted 134.7 novels worth of blog content under the Dakota Free Press banner. Add my writing from August 2005 to February 2015 under the Madville Times masthead, and we could conservatively estimate that, if I keep up this pace, by the end of 2022, I’ll have written 300 books worth of blogging in my career as a public online writer.
If I finally give in and pay someone to shovel my driveway, I could get that up to 301….
*Technical Note: I calculate “words” by dividing the number of characters by 5.1, the average length of English words. I then turn that figure into novel-equivalents by dividing the calculated words by 64,531, the number of words in Brave New World. My calculated word count thus includes all of the coding that produces hyperlinks, tables, images, embedded videos, and formatting in blog posts. Thus, a post like my amused observation last October that the state website briefly declared Kristi Noem’s occupation of the Governor’s office an error only contains 59 actual words, my database looks at the image and caption coded into that post and reports 177 “words”.