In the course of stumbling through my dashboard yesterday, I realized that I had published the 5,000th post at Simple Justice.  If was the first post yesterday, A PD and a Private Lawyer Walk Into a Bar, though it doesn’t really matter which post it was.

That’s a lot of posts.  That’s a lot of words.

It’s probably saved me a small fortune in therapy.  Over the years I’ve been writing SJ, the one word that’s been used most to describe me is “prolific.”  It’s not my favorite word, as it implies that the aspect of my writing that predominates is quantity rather than quality.  Every time someone calls me “prolific,” I cringe.

But as I ponder the fact that I’ve published 5,000 posts (and written more, though some never saw the light of day),  I hate to admit it but prolific is an accurate description.  For better or worse, I’ve written a lot.

And my posts aren’t cheap shots, the sort of stuff that “curators” post that throw some bit of news or article someone else has written against the wall to see if readers are interested.  When I started SJ, there were only a couple of people whose blogs were directed toward curation.   Howard Bashman was the king back then, though his lack of growth with the rest of the blawgosphere has left his curation limited and moldy.

Today, there are more curators than anything else.  Some mix it up, like  Radley BalkoWalter Olson and occasionally Doug Berman, I enjoy the benefits of their efforts, as they find stories, decisions and cases that spark my interest and compel me to write something.  As they focus their curation in a narrow range, it’s closer to things that I want to know about.  Given the time constraints under which I write, having others do some legwork for me is a huge boon.

Some of my favorite posts involved the back and forth with other blawgers, where we would debate the merits of a decision or some narrow aspect of practice.  There hasn’t been nearly as much of that in the past couple of years as there were before, but that’s the ebb and flow of the blawgosphere. People come. People go. People get tired. People realize that blawging hasn’t brought them wealth and prestige, and decide it isn’t worth their time.  They move on.

One of the most troubling aspects of writing so many posts is that new readers see the post that day, but not the dozens of posts on the same or similar subjects that came before it. To me, this blawg is an accumulation of thoughts, and I hate repeating myself.  Each new post builds on what I’ve written before, at least in my mind. 

The new reader sees only the latest post, and castigates me for not mentioning something she thinks is critically important, not realizing that I’ve been down that path many times before. I get a bit snippy explaining this, and tell the reader to go look in the archives. It doesn’t happen too often.

The thought that brings a smile to my face is that if Chuck Schumer finally comes to his senses and nominates me to the Supreme Court (call me, Chuck), I’ve written far too much for anyone on the Senate Judiciary Committee to bother reading, so my ideas are buried like the needle in the haystack. They’ll never know what to do with me, and I can pull off the umpire analogy even though it’s utter nonsense.

Whether it means something or not, hitting the 5,000 mark is a milestone of sorts.  I tried to retire at the 5 year mark, but couldn’t break the addiction.  I do not plan to retire (again) today.  Writing is fun. It’s therapeutic. It makes me think and provides an opportunity for me to test my thoughts with my peers. I’ve made some friends and a ton of enemies.  What a long, strange trip it’s been. 

This is post 5,002, a number of no consequence whatsoever. And still my crippled fingers bang the keyboard.

24 comments on “5000

  1. Jordan

    On a similar note, and I know you’ve written about it, but this morning I’ve been thinking about the cost of blogging.

    Mostly in the context of people who are sued or threatened with defamation lawsuits for writing stuff that hurts people’s feelings. The emotional toll, the financial toll, etc.

    Considering the “cost” of blogging, which I’m not sure everyone appreciates, 5000 posts is quite a milestone.

  2. Antonin I. Pribetic

    Congratulations, Scott, on a truly remarkable achievement. As I said on The Twitter, your blawging is prodigious. You are the Michael Phelps of the Blawgosphere, without the bong hits.



  3. Kathleen Casey

    Your writing has been a service to us speaking for me anyway. Made me think. Made me tons of friends and some enemies. ;] I’m getting all sentimental. Congratulations Scott.

  4. Jeff Gamso

    I’m awed by both the quantity and the quality. I’m amazed by what I’ve done, but 5,000 posts of quality and substance is simply beyond my comprehension. Wow!

  5. SHG

    Tell the truth, you’re just amazed at how closely I resemble Michael Phelps at my age. And I envy your ‘stache.

  6. SHG

    I feel a similar sense of dread at reaching 5000 that I felt when I reached age 50, if you know what I mean.

  7. Turk

    Every time someone calls me “prolific,” I cringe

    The same word is used for Judge Richard Posner. Once again, you guys are like twins.

  8. SHG

    Me too. I think he would have told me I was using up too many words and should leave some for other people.

  9. Thomas R. Griffith

    Sir, like the rest of the pack I’ve also enjoyed the SJ course over the years and look forward to many more. Words are just words until someone puts them in a straight line. Words that; heal, educate, re-educate & transform a profession for the better is what makes SJ more than just a blawg.

    If & when your fingers blowout, I’ll be sending Dragon Naturally Speaking. Can’t wait to buy a signed copy of the SJ Blawgbook – a copulation of…
    (In the mean time I’d settle out of court for an autographed business card before they are extinct.) On behalf of non-attorneys / lawyers so graciously allowed to attend the SJ University, Thanks a million.

  10. SHG

    Thomas, you hold a special place in my heart. Not just because of your unerring politeness and your kinds words toward me, but because you remember what I’ve written better than I do. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.

    And there’s nothing special about my business cards. Now Bennett, on the other hand, has these incredibly cool metal ones…

  11. Bryan

    Congratulations on the milestone, which I think is important beyond the number. It is rare, indeed, to find someone who will put so much energy into any endeavor, much less one that is a sidelight to the paying gig. Thanks for sharing your writing with us.

  12. SHG

    Oh great. Now when I don’t feel like writing anything, I’ll feel guilty because of you. Thanks a lot, pal.

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