548 Categorized Posts

It’s been a while since I posted something here, making for a rather anticlimactic start to A Patient Cycle 2.0. Generally, pauses on this blog indicate one of three things, all of which are probably partially true at any given point:

  1. Writer’s block is ravaging its author
  2. The author is busy with Life Stuff
  3. The author is painstakingly working his way through a piece of fiction, which is at once the most gratifying, exhausting, and time-consuming form of writing he knows

In this case, I’m pleased(?) to report that #3 is the most prominent of the three. For now, anyway. But tonight, I took a break from hating my writing to take the trip down memory lane that I alluded to in the last post. This is, approximately, the 549th post on this blog. (I am not going to take the time to check my math.) I began a sprawling attempt to categorize them, and aside from frequent distractions to see what my past self thought of certain things, it showed me some interesting trends. Here are the 548 posts preceding this one, categorized and in a table:

Category201320142015201620172018201920202021Total
Duluth East Hockey106655663249
General HS Hockey History/Commentary511796234148
Philosophy/Writing/Quotes1567566247
Travelogues – Present384868340
Duluth City Council15191237
Current Affairs104262416136
Sports – Not HS Hockey51464211134
Duluth News Roundups6972411131
Duluth History & Commentary27245343131
Books, Film, TV44621262128
Duluth Schools121031127
Good Writing411287124
Stages of Life2135332120
HS Hockey Tournament2122333218
Obituaries/In Memoriam14113112216
Fiction11137215
Programming Notes332212114
Travelogues & Homes Past2261112
General Appreciation/Rants1422312
Holidays21211119
Total9710865615559454315548
I apologize to my grad school data visualization professor for my lazy disinterest in aligning the numbers correctly in this table.

Many aspects of this table are not surprising. I knew the first two years, when I was underemployed and still churning out a lot of stray thoughts that hadn’t come out before, would be my most prolific. The demise of the Duluth political writing, first as I went off to grad school and then as I returned to assume a job with some political sensitivity, was entirely predictable. The decline in not-hockey sports makes sense, both because I have less free time for them now and because those were some of the less original writings of those early years and often lack a natural audience even in this sprawling space. The taper in general high school hockey commentary, meanwhile, likely represents my drift toward using my podcast soapbox to say a lot of the things I want to say in considerably less time.

Some other interesting trends emerge. My writing about travel, whether local or cross-country, has grown in tandem with my disposable income, though I made up for the lack of travel in the early years by reminiscing about prior journeys. The “good writing” genre, which existed as an actual feature of this blog in 2018 and 2019, existed in some proto-form in some earlier years. Current affairs goes for a jump in 2020; it’s as if an interesting thing or two may have happened over the course of that year. Duluth history and commentary is about as stable as can be. Likewise with the East hockey commentary outside of the first year, when I did a long series on the Hounds’ history, and the pandemic-shortened past calendar year.

2018 comes across as my adult peak of creative output. In retrospect, I believe that sense is correct. 2018 was a fun and eventful year, whereas I can only write so many posts about sitting and reading in a spare room or going for runs around the same neighborhoods over and over again, which were my primary activities in 2020. The early rush of philosophical musing was probably a sort of dump of thoughts that I haven’t felt the need to rehash too much, though I was a little surprised to see it fade to zero. Perhaps that’s just because I now tend to weave that sort of thing into travel writing, or choose to treat certain themes more obliquely through fiction. It does make me wonder, though, if there aren’t certain themes worth revisiting from some of those early years, especially since the thinking on that level is among the things that can get lost in the rush of a professional life.

That’s my only real takeaway that maybe could affect future content, though. The blog will go on as inspiration strikes me, and slow its pace as those three factors that I listed at the top rare their heads. Onward and upward.

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