I posted my first Blog here on 22 January 2010 and since then, according to my Dashboard, I have posted another 481 Blogs. By the end of the first five years I should have around 500 posts here. Some, of course, are short and very ephemeral and - when I notice them - I remove them. Occasionally, I dislike what I have written, sometimes strongly enough to remove it. But if the post just shows me getting things wrong, I try to leave it alone.
I don't use a word counter but I guess the average length of a post is about 400 words, in which case with 500 posts I will have 200 000 words - equivalent to two or three books depending on how many pages and how big the typeface.
I sometimes have the fantasy of making one (short) book from a selection of the posts. In fact, not so long ago I got someone to print off everything on this Blog with a view to making a selection. But I'm not sure I now have the energy or enough critical distance. So I thought of trying to get someone to do it for me - to edit down the material to an interesting book of short essays.
To tell the truth, the Blog began because though I wanted to write One More Book (before I die ...) I also knew that I have never been any good at sitting down and, beginning at the beginning, writing until it is all done. Two of my published books (Language Truth and Politics; Language in Mind and Language in Society) were both written piecemeal over several years and rewritten, cut, pasted - manually in those days - until something sufficiently booklike emerged.
I did sit down today thinking that I should make myself pick 18 topics for the 18 posts still needed for the 500. I could write them between now and the end of the year and then, perhaps, close the Blog.
But I don't have a ready list of 18 topics to hand. It's not how I work - well, most of the time: in the past, I have worked from Lists, sometimes alphabetical. It's how I wrote another one of my books (Key Concepts), much more rapidly than the previous two which had been traumatic to write.
Eighteen topics. There are things I would like to write about but not here. There are things I would like to write about but don't because I don't know how to do them justice. Torturers, for example. Other things I don't write about because there are plenty of other people discussing them and probably better than I can. And so on.
Anyway, hope for - or expect - another 18 posts, after which I don't know. This year, I have been unwell off and on for several months and I see that this year's total number of posts is well down on previous years. But finding the sense for an ending is much harder than just stopping.