Starting last November 1, as the founder and primary writer of this blog, I embarked on a journey to create content – not just LOTS of content, but consistent content as well. Two posts per week for one year was my goal. And 12 months later, I have successfully completed my year of content.
In that year, I eclipsed my self-imposed two posts per week by averaging about two and a quarter posts per week. The stats never lie and they say that after one whole year, I have published not the minimum 104 posts, but 117, with the help of five guest posts (one from Field Agent Wacker and four from Agent Parker).
All totaled, I wrote 223,846 words, with my guests adding 3,229 words for a grand total of 227,075 words written during my year. That’s more words than Melville wrote in Moby Dick, more than Dostoyevsky wrote in Crime and Punishment, more than Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring, Two Towers, Return of the King, The Hobbit (individually counted, of course), more than Twain’s The Adventure’s of Huckleberry Finn, more than Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities or Oliver Twist.
I think you get the point.
But the real message, as I look back over all that I have written, is that it all paints a pretty clear picture, albeit partial, of who I am and what I know.
More to the point, unlike the classics listed in the prior paragraph, I didn’t take all those words that make up the posts and create one solitary piece of literature. I think that being self-critical is what writers do, and being inclined to do the same, I believe some of those 112 posts written by myself are classic posts that people will be enjoying and learning from for a long time. Others? Maybe not so much.
Why did I do it and what did I really accomplish than getting a higher word count than some of the literature’s greatest classics? First off, I set the goal because we should all have goals. I’ve set plenty for myself that, for one reason or another, I didn’t complete. In fact, at the end of September and again in early October, I seemed to have had blog burnout and it seemed like I wouldn’t get this finished, but I persevered thanks to some greatly needed motivation from Agent Parker.
In high school and again in college, I wrote short stories and poems. At that time, I started two still-incomplete novels. Meanwhile, my friend Jason Zapata Wordsmith, completed his first novel, and he’s currently working on the second. It doesn’t matter that it hasn’t been published yet, because I feel the act of completion is a trophy on his wall either way. It takes consistency and hard work to put something like a novel together. Based on the research and work that went into my year of content, I think if I ever get the right idea, I could do it, too.
During my year, I completed the first part of my Rotospective on Ralph Bakshi and his movies (of which the the second part will be about his television endeavors and short films). I also dove into my personal past with the Old School Magic Series, which is also not over yet although the first leg of that journey is complete.
I started a new Interrogations Feature, which has two complete interrogations of artists, a third on the way, and many more to come. I have reviewed 12 books, nine movies (plus one from a guest), and recapped my love affair with eight old school PC games.But what have I learned as a geek and as a blogger through all of this content created? I have learned that although I have only started to write about the things that I love and enjoy, I still have more to say. I have learned that there are people that enjoy my work and have appreciations for the very same things that make me the geek I am.
I now have a better system for taking notes and making outlines. I have a better system of research and I know my voice as a blogger has changed over the course of the year, but it’s still mine.
For those of you out there who have your own blog or are looking to start one, I urge you to keep at it. Some may call it a form on online journaling, but blogging is now a form of journalism. They’re not just personal diaries anymore. I focus on modern geekdom as much as I focus on nostalgic geekdom, and I feel that somewhere in that combination is a picture of who I really am.
Did I need to write all these posts over the past year in order to find that out? No, but it was an enjoyable and thoroughly educational ride. For example, every time I wrote a movie or video game review, I watched or played the game, wrote out my notes and then did research. In doing the research, I learned even more about the things I enjoy and thus found a way to share it all with you.For the foreseeable future, I will be pairing down the posting to once a week, with an option for two if something really moves me. I’ve never maintained a real goal about content before this experiment, and now I’m replacing two-per-week with a one-per-week minimum.
I still have plenty to say. Whether anyone is still listening or not, it is important to me to share it. That’s the difference between bloggers who are content and those who give up. However great or small your online traffic is, the enjoyment should be in telling and sharing, not in the sheer numbers of page views.
If you’re creating a blog with the idea of trolling for as much traffic as possible, no matter how successful you are, that won’t be as fulfilling as just writing to share with the Internet.
What have I learned? I’ve learned I can be the blogger I expected myself to be. I’ve learned that with every post my writing gets a little more polished and that there are still so many things I want to share. I’ve learned that I’m a blogger and a geek. The latter I have known for most of my life. The former? Well, it took a year of writing twice a week to convince me.
Thank you for going on this ride with me, and I hope you stick around for the fun that has yet to be had.