You know what stat I really want?

This is a self-referential post, although I have managed to avoid making it recursive. For now. Check back later.

I have been watching the stats on my blog with interest. (Oh, c’mon, bloggers. You know you do it, too.) They have been increasing consistently since I started posting on a regular basis last fall, and really started going up when I started posting daily. When I began, I knew who was reading, because they only knew the blog was here because I told them. Friends, family. Then friends of friends and casual acquaintances started mentioning it when I ran into them downtown. It is a little disconcerting having somebody ask, “Was the wildlife park very busy on Thursday?” when you haven’t seen them for weeks, but I’m learning to roll with it.

For example, I bumped into someone at the library, and commented that I had enjoyed the book she was checking out. She said, “Oh, I know. I read your review. That’s why I’m reading it.” It’s a little surreal, like maybe my brain has started going off and having some other virtual life that my body had been left out of. I’m just going along, eating my supper, and meanwhile the writing is off catching up with other people on some other time scale. Maybe that’s what’s so addictive about it. It’s kind of like having extra time!

It’s pretty exciting meeting somebody completely new via the internet, starting up conversations, going back and forth between blogs. Every now and then, it seems, somebody comes along and reads a lot of my posts in rapid succession (I assume that this is what happens on days with high hits, but where each post has only one reader. Actually, that was what prompted this post. Hi, person, if you are in the middle of doing that. Stop and say hello! Even if you are my mom, or something.)

But you know what I really want to know is… how many words are in my blog? How much have I written? I suspect that by the end of the year I will be up into the 225,000 word range. This pleases me, and it feels more like something I can put a goal on. It’s like producing the volume of a really big book, only without those pesky problems of consistent voice, or internal coherence, or Actually Writing A Book. Don’t get me wrong, I like having readers. I’ll admit that I feel a little weird having “readers”; it feels pretentious, or something. But it makes it feel more like I’m doing something, which, as I mentioned a couple of days ago can be a bit of a problem. (Oh. That was just yesterday. OK, so it’s a recurring theme this week then.) Getting people to read is awesome, but I don’t really have much control over that. What I do have control over is the effort, so the stats of how much I’ve put into it turn out to be valuable to me. They may even exist, but I haven’t yet managed to put my hands/mouse on them.

In the dark of the night, when I am making much-too-long to-do lists, this is the sort of thing that makes me think, “Maybe I should move over to a .org site.” Not so much the particular question, but the fact that once I got up to speed, I’m sure I could throw together a script that would tell me that in an afternoon*. I can see the metadata Right There… But then I’d be programming, not writing. Curiosity would kill this cat blog, although it might have a lot more features.

Gee, she wondered aloud. I wonder whether anybody at WordPress noticed this post…


* Only I probably wouldn’t have to, because I’m sure somebody else already wanted to know the same thing.

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6 thoughts on “You know what stat I really want?

  1. Hi Seonaid,

    I am one of your never seen, never met blog fans who found you by way of a hop, skip, and jump from a friend’s blog. I’m toying with the idea of starting a blog eventually myself (there are about 4-5 I frequent) because I feel like I’m standing in such an interesting blogosphere intersection of motherhood, science, writing, careers, and living with wonder. It would be so interesting to get the 5 bloggers together in a room – perhaps a virtual room – my blog? – and see what happens. I’m glad I happened to find you, your posts always make me think, and now I have to run because the children have announced they are making ‘potions’ and I might get turned into a frog if I don’t supervise a bit!!

    • If you were interested in writing a guest post, you could get your toes wet here. This blog title came out of a conversation I used to have with a friend about starting a magazine for dilettantes, so having another contributor from time to time might be a good idea. Or maybe you *should* start a place for all us scientist/ mom/ philosopher/ mystic types to hang out.

      • Wow – sounds really tempting. I may just take you up on that. It will give me someting to look forward to as I wrap up this current gig. Will muse it over and then pester you in good time. Thanks for the offer!

  2. There’s been a word count plugin for WordPress for years – I’ve been using it since about 2004. I dunno if you can use it on wordpress.com, though.

    • See? I knew somebody must have done that. So, you’re on wordpress.org, are you? Should I make the leap? (I’m also looking for a platform for the website for the new farmer’s market.)

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