Forever unbound

I have a little plugin called Blog Metrics which keeps track of the word count here; it goes back to the beginning of the WordPress database, the first week of September 2006, and as of last night it reported something like 7,351,000 words.

And yet:

I’ve decided I don’t have a book in me. I’m not sure I could sustain a theme for long enough to write a coherent book. Yes, I feel kind of bad about that; I have colleagues who have written books and I look at them and think about how that’s something that will actually outlast their time on earth and … there’s nothing like that for me; a couple years after I’m gone I’ll be forgotten.

Some of us, I aver, are forgotten without even being gone.

But taking the longer view, Christopher Hitchens once said:

“Everyone has a book inside them, which is exactly where it should, I think, in most cases, remain.”

And that word “coherent” surely would be my undoing. Sunday nights on Twitter there’s a gathering called #blogchat, and much advice is dispensed therein. I remember one night when the subject of tags was discussed, and one chap who might actually be making money off his site said something to the effect that “if your subject matter is diverse enough, you could support fifteen, even twenty different tags.”

At the time, I had twelve thousand tags. Then again, I’m not actually making money off this site.

Bonus question: Should Fillyjonk write a book? She’s got seventeen years’ worth of material to draw from.


  1. fillyjonk »

    29 January 2019 · 6:31 pm

    Because my jam is “I’m gonna attack myself before you have a chance to*” I’m gonna say the answer to that question at the end is “No” because I am either too weird or too banal to actually be published.

    (Then again, didn’t Snooki “write” a book?)

    (*Early training, thanks to the hands – or mouths, rather – of my peers)

  2. McGehee »

    29 January 2019 · 10:04 pm

    Had I not lost so much of my content from before 2015, I could be utterly shameless and turn my accumulated blogging that almost nobody ever paid for into a Kindle ebook that absolutely nobody would ever pay for.

  3. Francis W. Porretto »

    30 January 2019 · 3:11 am

    Not everyone who’s slung a few million words at the Web can compose a novel-length fiction. The skill sets are quite different. Flannery O’Connor’s Maxim applies to most would-be novelists. As for the rest…well, try it and see.

  4. Roger Green »

    30 January 2019 · 8:43 am

    The one thing that leans towards a book is about 24 diaries I wrote between 1972 and 1986, most of which I did NOT write about.
    But if I write a blog post that’s twice as long as usual, it takes about 4 times as long.
    Expect my book in 2035.

  5. hollyh »

    30 January 2019 · 8:59 am

    I do miss Hitchens. Everyone’s favorite atheist curmudgeon. And O’Connor’s point is well-taken too. Of the few self-published authors I’ve met, their work should certainly have remained bottled up.

    Ironically, the humble-but-good authors are all probably like you two, sensibly choosing to demur.

    Still, I’d love to see you BOTH write a book; I picture FJ’s as sort of like Lab Girl, only less insane. And yours? I don’t know. But I’ve read your pony-world fiction, and you do have the knack. Although I have no idea how you could manage it, while working full-time and also running a full-time blog.

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