Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Numbers of words

I've always loved to write. You can't make a living at it but the Life of the Mind is one that appeals to me. So I write in my spare time. As long as I don't turn into Barton Fink, "a plodding, introspective, unsure intellectual whose lack of insight is matched only by his lack of talent." LOL. Fink's Life of the Mind is a bit darker than Thoreau's.

Once, I wrote as my profession, for newspapers. Writing for money is not all it's cracked up to be. And then of course the blog phenomenon came along and anyone and everyone could write and publish. That's the key, 'publish.' Anyone can write. But getting your piece in front of people's eyes is another matter, totally (almost totally) impossible until the field was equalized and blogs came along. For fun, the other day I decided to count the words I've written since 2000 when I started the weekly newspaper, up to today, as I still run two blogs and occasionally contribute a column to the local paper in my new town.

What got me thinking about all this is that The End Time has passed its 300th entry since I started it last year. The Quiet Life passed its 1000th. I never knew I had that much to say, but I guess I do!

Writing for The Monument Newspaper I was prodigious. I was the only writer for much of its life until I sold it. I wrote four articles a week plus an editorial. I'm not counting all the captions, blurbs, and re-written releases. So roughly estimating six years, 5 articles a week times 50 weeks a year times 6 years times an average of 800 words each article equals 1,200,000 words.

I started The Quiet Life in August 2006. There are 1,024 entries which roughly average 500 words each, equals 512,000 words.

The End Time entries are on average a bit longer. There are 300 entries averaging 700 words each, equals 210,000 words.

I wrote features for The Athens newspaper for about a year, three- to-four articles a week for an average of 600 words each for one year equals 90,000 words.

I wrote for the The Madison County paper for one year, a weekly column averaging 550 words 27,500 words.

Calculating that all up, words written since 2000 is 2,039,500. Two million. I'm speechless.

[word clouds courtesy wordle]


Christie said...

I've got more reading to do. :) Words are awesome. I'm so very happy I've dedicated this year to getting back in touch with one of the things I love most - reading.

Elizabeth Prata said...

that is great! There's nothing better than luxuriating in books. Enjoy!