Let’s start with some basics about myself…
I have no idea how many posts went up on this site this year because I stopped keeping track at least a year ago. To hell with it.
I couldn’t tell you which articles on this site might have been the most popular, because I haven’t been keeping track.
Does anyone really care about that shit?
I do keep track of the words I write, but I’m a far cry from the 1 million+ I used to churn out in the mid-2010s. This year I wrote around 250,000 words.
I’ve done well on my reading for the year. The average American reads 12 books a year, a number that hasn’t changed in over ten years. So when you think about it, people are reading about 120 books each decade.
I personally managed to read 22 books this year, totalling 6,523 pages. I’ve been keeping a reading list since 2008, when I graduated college. I started tracking the pages a few years ago. Since the list started, I’ve read 553 books…putting we way above average in this department compared to most of us.
Monetarily, this is the best year I’ve had in many years. I made quite a bit working part-time hours at my one job. I would work more, but childcare takes up a lot of my time. Despite having my 2-year-old in daycare, she’s sick nearly 1 or 2 days each week, meaning I have to stay home with her. That makes it hard to have a daytime job, and I think a lot of other Americans can say the same today.
I wrote one book this year, Tourists & Transplants. The book came out in March, sold 12 copies in its first couple months, and hasn’t sold any since. It’s 462-pages and the most telling history of Montana from 1990 to 2020 that you’ll find. In fact, no other books exist that discuss that time period.
So far, I’ve sold 928 copies of my 7-volume Montana history book series. Book 1 is the most popular, with 485 sales. So far, I’ve made around $4,600 in royalties from that series.
All told, I sold 1,146 books in 2021, the lowest amount since I started in 2013. Amazingly to me, this was the first year ever that I sold more books via D2D (which distributes to Barnes & Noble, Apple, and nine other retailers) than I did via Amazon. This year those totals came out to 752 vs. 394 books, respectively.
My most popular book this year was Colter’s Winter, which sold 101 copies. It’s the first book of the Mountain Man Series, which sold a combined 328 copies this year. This is my most popular series ever, having sold a total of 6,745 books so far, making me over $15,000 in royalties.
The next most popular book is Dulce Base, something I wrote seven years ago. I sold 91 copies of that one. It helped that I did a couple $0.99 promo sales for it. I plan to begin writing the final volume of that trilogy in January.
Since I started nearly 9 years ago, I’ve sold 16,300 books and made about $42,000 in profits from that.
Alright, enough about me…
Here in Montana this year we saw the collapse of the Montana Post blog, which has had 10 posts since June. The site is effectively dead, much like the prospects of the political party it sang the praises of, the Montana Democrats.
Very little has filled the void left by the unofficial Dem mouthpiece of the state. The Dems themselves continue to maintain their own website, and they declared last week that they “had a big year.”
They say this because they “flipped 19 school board seats…6 mayors offices…19 municipal offices,” and some other stuff.
In other words, they’re able to maintain in the few safe enclaves they have left.
Meanwhile, the Montana GOP controls all statewide offices, both chambers of the legislature, and two of our three federal offices.
Filing for the 2023 Legislature will begin in a few weeks, and many will file on that first day. Then it’ll be months of pretty much zero news coverage until the primary, at which point whatever races might have garnered some public interest will be drowned-out by the huge amounts of outside money that’ll flood into the two federal House races.
I have no idea who Dems are going to put up for any of the statewide offices coming up in 2024, and I don’t think they do either. I think we’re entering into that party’s ‘lost decade.’
Here in Missoula, RD has done a nice job filling a void created by the local media’s refusal to dig into issues in any kind of substantive way. In fact, many issues they simply ignore altogether.
Missoula Current is really nothing more than a copy-paste outfit for local government and ‘friendly-businesses,’ with the main goal of the site at this point more about increasing advertising revenue than making an impact in the community via local reporting.
I got a subscription to the Missoulian when I was running for office this year. I felt it was important to know the issues in the media.After the race, I had to email them to cancel my subscription…even though it was just $3 for 3 months.
That’s how much I valued the Missoulian - I didn’t want to pay even $1 for a month.
They gave me an extra 3 months of subscription anyways. I suspect this was to boost their advertising revenue.
That 3 months ended this week. At first I was a bit shocked. Why can’t I access this article? Then I realized. And honestly…it was no big thing.
Really, I think me reading less of the Missoulian is a good thing. Who wakes up in the morning saying, ‘I need more corporate news in my life’? And those comments can get vicious. I try to keep that kind of negativity out of my life these days.
Looking at the bigger picture…
I was reading an article about the chaos of the 13th-century and the lessons this imparts to us today.
It was mostly doom and gloom, pointing out how out of control our current system is, and how this corresponds to all monetary systems in history, all of which eventually failed.
At the end, however, it got more positive. I was startled by one of the final lines: “And remember that many of the best things in life are free – friendship, music, books, nature and many hobbies.”
I think that’s good to remember as we try to hedge against the coming storm - most of the things that can take up our time don’t have to cost money.
I think a lot more people are going to be having problems with money in 2022, mainly because of rising prices.
For the more financially-minded, here is one of the better posts I’ve seen on the year-in-review for crypto, GDP, ESG, SPACs, and other trends. The site will put out its 2022 predictions in early-January.
Of course, the best investments these days aren’t in stocks or Bitcoin, but in used vehicles. No assets are appreciating more in value. Prices are up 20% in just 4 months.
Don’t forget how valuable workers are, either. We’ve got 4 million Baby Boomers retiring each year, and not enough Generation X workers behind them to fill all those openings.
We’ve been losing a lot of big names lately, and I think we’ll see a lot more in the coming year.
John Madden was a big one this week. I managed to see most of the recent documentary on him. It was clear people from all walks of life appreciated him. Everyone had a good word to say about him. All kinds of people wanted to meet him, and shake his hand, and talk to him.
You can tell he lived his life the right way.
Let's live our lives the right way, too...in 2022, and beyond.