So there it was, at the top of my stats page, the number of posts which have appeared on Wine and Cheese (Doodles). The last one, about my son’s extreme origami frustration was number 499.
Which makes this one…500.
That’s a lot of posts. Like, seriously a lot of posts. Now, full disclosure, some of those have been re-blogs of old posts, especially during the summer months when everything slows down to a hot climate pace. One was a post I ran from a source who wished to remain anonymous, but we’re still looking at a hell of a lot of ideas, passionate pleas, complaints…and words–some of them four letter.
My posts average about 800 words. That means that, even conservatively, we’re looking at between 350 and 400 THOUSAND words.
The word count of The Hobbit is 95, 356
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? 257,045
A Game of Thrones: 298,000
Even 500 posts later, I’m still well under Infinite Jest at 483,994. Which is just fine by me.
Consider also: The average first time novel is around 80,000 words.
That means there are nearly four novels worth of words about parenting, living abroad, sex, marriage, kids, feminism, politics floating around here.**
I have, beyond my wildest intentions, achieved my objective. I’ve amassed a body of work. It’s a body which sometimes resembles Frankenstein’s monster, stitched together higgeldy-piggeldy, but it’s my monster. Some of it has even been pretty damn popular.
Plenty of others have been viewed (and hopefully read) between five and ten thousand times. Not bad for a middle-aged woman sitting behind a desk who doesn’t like to shill her stuff too much.
Some posts have been singled out by the powers-that-be at WordPress over the years. When Freshly Pressed was still a thing, three of my posts were chosen by editors.
Since then WordPress has switched over to their Discover feature and the blog’s been singled out twice:
WordPress claims it has 75 million blogs.
Not bad at all.
After five years and 500 posts, I’m still none the wiser. I can never tell which posts will resonate. There have been some I’ve loved that have sunk faster than a stone, like If You Told Me I’d Be Quoting Kenny Rogers and the more recent The War on Christmas. There have been others, personal favorites, like What It Feels Like For a Girl or Nine Expats You’ll Meet in a Galaxy Far Far Away or which, for whatever reason, haven’t done as well as I would have thought.
I’ve done poetic, I’ve done heart-felt, I’ve done satire. I’ve done funny, serious, sad. I’ve done marriage, parenting, siblings, sex, politics, women, men, rage, writing, feminism, race, history, movies, obituaries. There aren’t too many questions I see posed these days where I feel I don’t have a blog post which addresses or answers it. There are times I don’t even comment anymore, but just leave a link to an old blog post. Those posts usually capture my feelings about any given subject with more nuance than I can manage in a comment box or a 140 character tweet.
I’ve had a multitude of pieces run on other sites like Bust Magazine and Scary Mommy…(really, there have been too many to list here, but hey, there’s this: Publications)
Basically, I’ve done what I set out to do. Actually, I’ve probably tripled what I set out to do. And I’ve done it all on my own terms, organically, without advertising, or following just for follow backs. I have a limited amount of time on this mortal coil. If I follow your blog, it’s because I like what you have to say. If I interact with you, it means it’s because I appreciate you. If you’ve reached out to me and I haven’t gotten back, it means it’s gotten lost in the shuffle of a middle-aged mind.
So here we are:
What the hell do I do now???
All suggestions welcome.
**Fwiw, this isn’t including the number of words in the actual novel I wrote. Or the one I’m writing now. Or the even higher number of words edited out.
I suppose then if, upon my headstone, it read: Here Lies Dina, She Was Rarely At a Loss For Words, I’d be just fine with that.