Dan’s Blogging Year in Review, 2011

A few hours ago, WordPress was nice enough to send me an e-mail detailing how my blog fared in 2011. They included who has commented the most — Ari, Rachel, Line — and on which posts. They told me which were popular and from where people visited my blog the most — United States, United Kingdom, Germany. And all of that is useful. In fact, I’ll share just one category:

Top Posts of 2011:

That’s interesting, right? Well, yes and no. I actually already knew all of that. I see the site statistics every time I log into the system to type up a post — and I log in nearly every day. I’ve known which posts were popular and which weren’t. I even know that the most traffic I’ve ever gotten came exactly a week ago, December 24. My post “It’s just you versus the world” made it onto Reddit – Ludology and was the top post for that sub-category for most of the day.

Instead of which people, posts and people, let’s talk about something more dear to my heart: words. How many words did I type this year on the blog?

Let’s assume for a moment that each post in 2011 was 1,000 words. Most were more — one was even 4,000! — but let’s just assume that for the moment.

So, post count per month…

Month  Posts
May 7
June 16
July 25
August 22
September 18
October 29
November 11
December 11

…yields 129 posts and…

Month Words
December 11,000
November 11,000
October 29,000
September 18,000
August 22,000
July 25,000
June 16,000
May 7,000

… a total of 129,000 words, approximately.

That’s pretty good. In the span of a year, I wrote the equivalent of several books worth of material on this blog. In fact, using the Nebula Awards® Rules as guidelines, I wrote about three novels worth of material — 40,000 * 3 = 120,000.

Hmm. That is still not quite right though. I frequently, much to my shame, write several hundred words in comments too. What if I counted them too?

Let’s assume that I wrote 250 words per comment. In 2011, I made 24 comments on my own blog. That’s another 6,000 words then.

So, I’m looking at 135,000 words roughly. Broken down over a year, that’s… 370 words a day. For posts, that means I wrote about a third of a post for every day in the year.

You might be asking yourself a question now, “Why did he share those numbers with us?” And that’s fair. Really, it is. The reason I shared those numbers is a simple one: it’s not enough. I set out, way back in May, to write a blog post every day. As you might have noticed, I didn’t quite get to that goal. I was doing pretty well in June-July but then got hit with a heavy summer session. That happened again in October-November as I scaled back my blog writing to take care of homework more.

For me, 2012 starts in just a few hours. I’ll write tomorrow about what I plan to take on in the new year but I wanted to take a moment tonight to look at what I have done this year on the blog and to do some calculations to set the bar for this coming year. Because, I’m going to write more. I’m going to do better.

2011 was 135,000 words. For 2012, I want 200,000 or more.