How much did you write this year? I bet it’s a lot more than you think. My total word count comes to over a million. This was surprising to me -- wasn’t technology like video conferencing and voice recognition supposed to diminish our dependence on the written word? It turns out that technology has made writing more essential than ever.
Here’s how I broke the million-word barrier in 2012:
Email. Some people consider email the “to-do” list that someone else creates for them. Regardless, it’s more popular than ever. Most days I send around 50 emails, each containing at least 50 words. Based on this, I’m easily producing over 650,000 words a year via email.
Instant Messaging. I spend a lot of time instant messaging with colleagues. At a dozen chat sessions each business day, I’m typing over 300,000 words a year into the little boxes.
Columns. I’ve written the weekly column that you’re thankfully reading right now (really, thank you). At around 600 words each week, that’s over 30,000 words a year -- the equivalent of writing a short novel.
Tweets. Even with a 140-character limit, messaging via Twitter a half dozen times a day leads to my generating another 25,000 words annually.
Comments. I post at a couple of comments a week in response to something that I’ve read online. At that rate, I’m appending another 6,000 words each year to the bottom of articles.
Documents. Whether its PowerPoint, a marketing piece or a contract, there are a bunch of other words I’m writing each year. I honestly have no idea how many.
The million words I’ve written this year doesn’t include personal writing like text messaging and Facebook, nor does it include the more than 120,000 words we publish annually on my industry blog, The Makegood.
Writing and producing content has become a professional necessity for many people in the media industry. In some ways, Wordpress has replaced the chamber of commerce, and Twitter has replaced the golf course. The contacts I’ve made from writing and publishing during 2012 have helped me gain customers and raise money for our startup.
In 2013 I expect that I’ll write another million words again -- as long as you keep reading!
Thanks in advance, and Happy New Year.