Assumed audience: People who like reading year-in-review summaries. (I always assume that’s mostly just me, a few years in the future!)
A bit of context: For many years now, I have made it my habit to write up one of these summaries. In this case, I have tried to make it a bit more digestible by breaking into smaller chunks. You can find them all at the root of this little ‘series’.
Right up front, the things I’m most proud of/think hold up best/most want you to read if you haven’t — many of which I mention elsewhere in rest of the post, but this way they’re all in one place:
For the first time in many years, I actually did accomplish one of my major writing goals for the year: I wrote, and published, a for-real-and-true essay in the (literal physical) pages of Mere Orthodoxy. Particularly given the overarching difficulties of the year, it felt good to get a real piece of work out there into the world, and all the more so because it ended up on real pages.
I remain pretty happy with this particular book-review-essay, so if you missed it when I posted it, I do encourage you to give it a read: it has some of my best thinking on work, remote and otherwise, as we come into the third decade of the 21st century. Of course, please also forgive the typos and infelicities of phrasing that one can only find after something goes to print. That was an old experience for me (I fixed a dozen issues in my essay on the Leica Q2 just this morning, as one does!) but a new experience for me in that, well: print. You can fix the typos on a website. Not so much in paper copy.
I also delivered a sermon for my friend Steve’s church plant — a sermon I had researched and prepared in October 2021, before getting COVID-19 the week I was supposed to preach it. In God’s good providence, it turned out to be for the good; the week I ended up preaching on the Lord’s Prayer was one of the hardest weeks of the year for me. As I told Jaimie: I needed that sermon as much as anyone I preached it to. But it was also just days after multiple shootings around the country, and though I had not known it during my preparation, “your kingdom come” were words we all particularly needed to hear that morning.
Beyond that, my year was a relatively ordinary-for-me year of writing. On this site, I have published on the order of to 40,000 words. As of authoring this post,1 my quick and dirty shell scripting reports 44396 words from 53 different files.2 Knock off a couple thousand words for metadata (~
One major theme which emerges from my writing this year, as I look back on it: the need to be able to do work in smaller chunks, with less flow available in this particular life stage, and therefore embracing the value of shorter posts. I have left notes for myself to this same effect in my personal (paper!) journal as well, because I feel this keenly, and not only in my writing (I will come back to this theme when discussing music in a later post in this series).
I am also proud that I managed, as of just yesterday, to publish something that I consider an essay, not just a blog post (or Journal entry): my long consideration of the Leica Q2. The line between blog post and essay is a bit fuzzy on one’s own site, and previous reviews of camera equipment were unpolished enough and bloggy enough in style that I left them in the Journal section of the site. Between that essay and the book-review-essay at Mere Orthodoxy, I’m pretty pleased to have polished up two things to that level in 2022 — all the more so given what a rough year it was.
Last but not least, I also published a lot of words for open source: another four RFCs and five official blog posts for Ember. Combined, those totaled over 22,000 words. I expect both the number of RFCs I write and the related word count in them to be much lower in 2023 for a host of reasons!
Net, this year actually ended up being similar to, but a little bit better than, last year. I wrote about the same number of words total (on the order of 65,000). I wrote more non-work words on this site. I wrote an actual essay on this site, an actual sermon for a real church, and an actual book review for a real magazine. And what extremely limited stats I get from CloudFlare tells me a fair number of folks out there read what I wrote. I’m grateful!
A bonus note — I got curious after publishing this, especially when thinking on how this year has gone. Perhaps unsurprisingly, fully a third of the writing I have done on this site this year has happened in this month alone. That makes sense: the things that made this year hard kicked off in earnest in March, I had spent January and February working on that essay for Mere O, and we finally had a real reprieve at last in… that’s right, December. No surprise, then, that this is when I managed such a huge chunk of the year’s writing!
So: inclusive of the first two entries in this series, this in-progress entry, and the just-started drafts of later entries in the series as well as everything else published on the site; the count is a function of how much I write in this paragraph and footnote. ↩︎
Counting words with
rg -l0t md "date: 2022" site/journal site/essays site/library | xargs -0 cw -w, counting files with
rg -lt md "date: 2022" site/journal site/essays site/library | wc -l. ↩︎