I wrote a blog post every day for five years and all I got to show for it is approximately ten novels’ worth of words. (Assuming ~50k words for a novel.)
You read that right. It’s already been five years since we witnessed “the birth of something old, yet something new” as I so eloquently put it back then. Apparently I can call this the blog’s “wooden” anniversary. Or does that bullshit naming convention only apply to weddings? Who even knows. Anyway, I decided to do something special for this milestone. The blog’s been with me for nearly a quarter of my life now, so let’s see how we got here, where we actually stand statistically, and where we think we’re headed.
Fang Talks has humble beginning as a Blogger blog. Back in January 2011 I started under the address “fangtalks.blogspot.com”, quickly filling it with my pubescent ramblings and whining. Though not much has changed content-wise, things definitely looked different back then. A slightly modified version of a default Blogger theme.
It wasn’t long before I outgrew the confines of the Blogspot space. After a mere four months I already moved to my own domain name, “fangtalks.com”, and ran the blog from there. Web hosting was part of package I ordered, which allowed for the first of many “secretprojects” to take place when the blog turned one year old: a glorious redesign, home-grown and one of the worst things I have ever made. Take a long hard look, that’s the only screenshot left of it. Archive.org doesn’t have the monstrously large page archived properly, so that’s the only visual we’ll ever have.
The bulky design necessitated a rework from the ground up. I worked long and hard to make something half-decent and did my best to fill it with all kinds of extras that would remain unused for all eternity. Version three went live in early 2013, looking much cleaner and loading much faster than the design it replaced. It was bright and bold, and definitely way too orange.
The year after was a revolutionary one. Fed up with the… characteristics of Blogger as a platform, I decided to go fully self-hosted. I turned to WordPress for my blogging solution and went to town on yet another redesign. What did it look like? You’re looking at it right now! That’s right, the fourth anniversary didn’t see any stylistic or functional changes at all. The job had been done, and it had been done right. No need to do it over again, I’d say.
Which brings us to the day of today. I decided to put my hacker skills to good use and crunch some numbers. The last five years have seen 1826 posts which together account for a grand total of 490,983 words of bullshit. That’s an average of approximately 269 words per post, where the longest post counts 2116 words and the shortest a mere 20. Wow, that’s some low-quality posting alright.
I’ll have to apologize for my limited Excel prowess, but it definitely could’ve been worse. Displayed is the average amount of words in a post, per month, with the longest and shortest post of the month dotted in for fun. The peak at 2011-11 is because I partook in a “National Novel Writing Month” (and failed to complete anything), the writing for which was posted to the blog. Between 2013-05 and 2014-07 I wrote Caves, which I think is partly the reason for the slight bulge in the average there.
Overall there’s a slight downward trend, but nothing that can’t be salvaged. This post will definitely be helping, that’s for sure!
We can’t forget the most important thing though. You! I also ran some calculations on the collective participation of everyone who’s read my blog over the years. Y’all made an amazing 6299 comments, clocking in at 164,873 words total! For those at home keeping track, yes, that’s a whopping average of approximately 3.4 comments per post. A huge amount of support!
Truth be told, the larger part of those probably comes from the early days, back when I was still foolish enough to participate in the “comment on me, I’ll comment on you” shtick. These days I just read blogs I like, and blogs of people I like. If you’re still sticking with me, it’s definitely appreciated!
It’s been a long five years that in hindsight feel surprisingly short. I’ve written more junk that I could possibly stand to read, but will I keep adding onto that pile? Of course I will! I’ve had some moments, especially last year, where I genuinely considered calling it “done” right about now. But after careful deliberation I’ve decided against that. As I’ve always said, I write for me. Even if some days, weeks, or even months produce incredibly low-quality writing, it’s still something. It’s still that bit of exercise I need to get better at ad-libbing on paper.
Fang Talks has been, is, and always will be here to stay. It’s been a glorious ride so far, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’ve met lovely people, I’ve written lovely (and terrible) drafts of stories I’ll likely never publish. I’ve learnt to bullshit my way through to the end of so many ridiculous posts it’s insane.
I’ve had a great five years, and I’m looking forward to the next few. Just don’t expect me to do a write-up like this again next year.