Five Years of The New Psalmanazar

I used to joke that I was a glutton for obscurity, that if no one read what I published here I was pleased as pie. That’s a pose, of course, something to make me feel better. I want readers. But as I mellow toward middle age (seven months till forty) I’m becoming more honestly comfortable with the idea that writing, like reading, is something I can engage in without the need for recognition. Writing a good sentence now and then, like reading one, is a pleasure in its own right. I hope I’ve managed a few. At any rate, the attempt seems necessary for me. Trying to write good sentences has made me a better person, or at least prevented me from being as awful as I might have been otherwise.

By the numbers, I’ve written 526 separate posts for The New Psalmanazar since February 22, 2008. I’ve received 48,700 views. I’ve earned 90 regular ‘followers.’ My busiest year, both in terms of production and in terms of readership, was 2010. The busiest day was November 10th of that year, on which I had 616 visitors (I average maybe 40). The post that’s earned me by far the most visitors is Three Paragraphs of Nature. To judge by incoming search traffic, these are  middle school students hoping to plagiarize something for a class assignment (Write 1-3 paragraphs about nature). For some reason, the other search phrases most likely to bring people here have to do with Edward Gorey and the Italian film star Monica Vitti. I mentioned Monica Vitti twice back in September of 2008.

I have a small band of loyalish readers, but most of the people who come to The New Psalmanazar do so accidentally. It’s not what they were looking for, but something they found on the way to what they were looking for. When they do come, I’m glad to say that they tend to stay a while. Most of them spend a couple minutes clicking around and reading. I’m grateful for that. The things that bring people together often smell of random chance. When the results are favorable, we call it serendipity, or fate. That’s how friendships are made. That’s how people fall in love.

Out of pure narcissism, and to commemorate my anniversary, I’ve pulled a dozen or so posts from each of the past five years (excluding posts from the Marginalia series) and created a Best Of page.

Thank you for reading.

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11 Comments

Filed under Misc.

11 responses to “Five Years of The New Psalmanazar

  1. John

    I’ve been a regular reader for maybe three years now… Maybe longer; I’m not sure. I subscribe via Google Reader, so I’m not sure if I show up in any of your stats, but I’m very grateful for your work.

  2. Happy fifth birthday, and keep turning the phrases 🙂

  3. Happy anniversary and thanks for the “Best of” page. It will be fun to get reacquainted with those posts!

  4. Here’s to solidering on, to stitching together a good sentence or two, to laboring in obscurity–thanks for your effort. It is appreciated and enjoyed. Carry on!

  5. It wasn’t what I was looking for, but I found it indeed – and very glad to find it again and again.

  6. Tony

    Keep on keeping on. Great stuff.

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