When I was brainstorming ideas for this post, I was convinced it was going to be so funny, but now that I'm actually sitting down to write it, I've got literal tears in my eyes. I'm completely overwhelmed emotionally. Which is silly, because it's really nothing more than a career milestone I privately made up about six months ago, and which I've been semi-secretly counting down to for roughly half that time (I say semi-secretly, because if I've physically spoken to you in the last couple of weeks, I've been unable to shut up about it . . . sorry).
Maybe it would help if I explained what the hell I'm talking about, though. As of just a few minutes ago, I have officially blogged over 1 million words!
Excuse me while I ruin a kleenex over here.
Now, to get to this total, I did have to include my other blog, but that feels fair to me. The last blog ate up a lot of my life and it's almost exactly the same thing I'm doing now, so maybe I should have just kept the first one going and combined their mission statements . . .
No, I think I prefer the clarity of doing it this way.
The official breakdown is
Decadent Gamer - 1097 posts for a total of 588,594 words
It Came From the Bookshelf - 319 posts for a total of 413,419 words
My average words per post is 707, but my longest post, The World of Ukss, has more than 56,000 words.
It's what I've been telling you all from the very beginning - quantity over quality people!
No, I'm not really that self-deprecating, but I do wonder about the roads not taken. I've averaged a novel a year for the last seven years, and maybe I'd be in a better place if I'd just written the damned novels.
It's hard to say. The reason I got into blogging in the first place is that I wrote my first novel and it was . . . not well received. It completely crushed me because it took me a year to write and for like 11 and a half months of that year I genuinely thought I was making something good. I carefully considered the prospect of learning something from the experience, treating my first outing as practice, and just moving on to the next one with a resolve to get better . . . and I just couldn't handle it. I figured I would have to write multiple practice novels just to get to where I wanted to be, and even to the degree that I could accept needing years to hone my craft, I couldn't accept the idea that each and every attempt would take months to realize.
So I chose, instead, to publicly share my unsolicited video game opinions, and I haven't looked back.
Well, mostly. Obviously, I looked back a little or I wouldn't have known I reached this milestone. Looking back a little more and rereading my first blog post, I can't say with confidence that I've improved in skill over the past seven years. I think I may have dialed into a personal style, but on a technical level, I've plateaued. . . or become complacent.
Maybe it's time to look forward for a change. After my first year of doing It Came From the Bookshelf, I toyed with the idea of writing an Ukss novel for National Novel Writing Month. At the time, I was talked out of it for some very good reasons, but I'm thinking now that I might enjoy doing it as a side-project. Maybe if bang out a fundamentally unsellable practice novel, I'll rediscover my love of writing fiction. At the very least, there's no pressure and no expectations.
The other thing I'm going to do is change my pdf policy. From now on, I will not restrict myself to reading free pdfs. Instead, I'll read anything where someone officially connected with the book sends me a review copy. I've gotten pretty comfortable reviewing things, so maybe I could occasionally review books that are actively searching for an audience instead of spending 90% of my time with hot takes on stuff that's barely available on the secondary market.
Anyway, despite never going viral and becoming the internet's most successful niche blogger, I'm actually pretty proud of my body of work. It's been a satisfying first million words, here's to one million more!