300000 Words

Published in Blogging - 3 mins to read

The final word of this post will, if my calculations are correct, be the 300000th word that I’ve written on this blog. 300000 is… a lot, in fact it’s significantly more words than most novels contain - perhaps one day I’ll publish a book of selected highlights.

Having this much of my writing freely available on the internet, published under my own name, is absolutely terrifying. There are definitely things I’ve said that are insensitive and that I wouldn’t stand by today, a good chunk of it is very personal and makes me feel vulnerable, and almost all of it is badly written. There are plenty of posts that I’m embarrassed about, for a variety of reasons. I am always a little concerned that both prospective employers and potential romantic partners have such extensive access to the way my mind works, if they only Google my name and are then willing to sift through the archives.

There are plenty of upsides to it though. When we started writing these blogs, the whole point was to look back at them in a couple of years’ time, be embarrassed, but then own it. If I’m embarrassed by what I wrote back in 2017, it shows that I’ve grown as a person in the interim, and it’s easy to lose sight of that amidst constantly shifting goalposts. Looking back at some old posts I can see I am definitely a better person today as I was then. I’m less bitter, and have hopefully developed some vague semblance of empathy. I still struggle with the idea of happiness, but less so than I used to - these days I have a better grasp on what makes me happy, what doesn’t, and how to avoid the latter. Reading what I’ve written previously, I am painfully in my own head, and I guess that hasn’t changed too much. Perhaps that’s the goal for the next 300000 words - to make them less neurotic than their predecessors.

Which brings me to exactly that - the next 300000 words. I’m not really sure how likely it is that there’s 300000 more words, at least not produced in the same space of the time. Writing these posts takes up a big part of my week, and I would rather not do something at all than do it poorly. With that being said, the habit is built into my routine better than perhaps any other, and breaking it would feel like a shame. I am incredibly grateful to my past self for having written so much, so that I can go back and read through it today, and I would like to keep extending the courtesy to my future self for as long as possible, as a record of how far I’ve come.