I did the math once about the number of words I write each year on this blog. Without getting into the algorithm, the numbers around 120,000 words a year.
I thought about that as I looked at a bowl at my parents’ house that I think was made by someone too young to vote–a grandchild. And I thought about artisans and other artists and what they produce and the value of what they produce.
And then I thought about writers and about writers who blog.
It would be pretentious to equate what’s produced on this blog with actual artwork. It’s not the design of this blog to be art. It’s supposed to provide information and something for you to think about as a writer. It’s not meant to be something to treasure and hang onto for generations to come.
In a related note, there’s a lot of talk about how the inundation of digital content is driving down the monetary value of what we produce. But if you look at the economics of the situation, what we produce is more plentiful than it ever has been. And I don’t mean just self-published books. There are blogs and an infinite number of websites for fun and information.
When I was a kid, the only way to find out how the Mets did and check details was to wait for each day’s Schenectady Gazette. Because it was the only place to get information, it was worthwhile for me to pay for the paper. I kept up the tradition for years, moving past the Gazette to the USA Today, the Albany Times-Union, the Washington Post and Washington Times, the Arizona Republic, and the Chicago Tribune. Only after we moved to Florida did I decide that the paper wasn’t worth the money for me because there were an infinite number of places to go for box scores and other news.
And so here we are, us writers, blithely producing content to build our online presence. The amount of free content is nearly endless. And we complain about how the value of our work seems to be falling–with good reason.
But maybe it’s falling because at least some of it is built for now. By tomorrow at this time, another post will appear in this spot. This will become just a single pebble under the stream. In two or three days, no one will remember it.
It’s too bad that way. Leads you to wonder if more is necessarily better.