600 Hours

Today marks the 245th consecutive day that I've written and published a blog post on this site, which is a number that I find astounding given the number of times I've tried and failed to do this in the past. As these posts are all stored in a database it's easy to quantify what's been done even more, but these metrics would just add noise to the goal of the current objective of publishing at least one blog post every day for 365 days … or more. That said, the vast majority of my day is spent thinking about numbers. To not slice and dice my efforts here in an effort to better understand what's been done would run counter to my nature. So it should come as no surprise that I decided to kill some time while listening in on a meeting at work by writing a quick little script that would take a look at the source files for the blog posts I've written — including the unpublished ones — and try to work out roughly how much time I've invested in writing since September 12th, 2018.

The answer is just shy of 600 hours1. I thought it would be more.

Setting a goal to both write and publish a post every day is easy. Achieving the goal is another story altogether. When I would try to publish daily in the past, it was often necessary to have a couple of blog posts written and put in the queue ahead of time so that there would always be something to publish, even if I couldn't write it that day. This tactic is being avoided this time as one of the benefits to writing every day is the unseen information stored in each post. Articles with a great deal of repetition were written at the end of the day or during times of burnout. Posts that consist mostly of photos are for those days when I am just staring at a blank page for far too long. Items that have clearly defined sections were written over a period of hours with at least two revisions. It's this extra information contained within the patterns of every post that I find the most interesting as it reveals elements of my mental state as the fingers hit the keyboard.

One of the reasons this personal site exists is because it's a reflection of who I am in more ways than one. There are bugs, imperfections, poorly-written posts and, occasionally, better ones. Some of the ideas I write about have evolved over time while others may have remained mostly static. It's very much a personal Wayback Machine.

Writing and publishing every day is not something everyone can do every day, and I struggle with blank pages just as often as anyone else. There's no stopping this streak, though. 365 consecutive days is the minimum goal, and there is no upper limit. With all this writing practise, I hope that the articles are being written better and with fewer digressions.

  1. The best estimate is 594 hours 29 minutes, but this can't include situations like standing up to use the bathroom or stopping because the boy needed attention. It should be taken with a grain of salt.