West at work

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Last updated on July 27th, 2017 at 01:15 pm

Sydney Morning Herald blogger Andrew West defends himself against reader accusations of laziness:

IRVING: Wow … you’ve really put in a big effort today Andrew. Do you actually get paid for this?

WEST: Yes, I get paid, and on average I post 500 words a day, five days a week. Since the blog began at around 6pm on Friday, September 30, I have posted around 10,000 words.

Don’t weeks have more than five days? (By comparison, since September 30 this site has posted around 30,000 words. I blame John Howard’s cruel industrial laws.)

Posted by Tim B. on 11/01/2005 at 08:34 PM
    1. Yer both wussies.  Kenneth Robeson, the legendary pulp novelist, used to write 60,000 words a day on manual typewriters.  He once sat on a concrete slab in the middle of the winter typing where his office was going to be as construction workers built his house around him.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 11/01 at 08:50 PM • permalink


    1. I just read ‘blogs for the pictures.

      Posted by JDB on 11/01 at 09:07 PM • permalink


    1. Be happy you still have a blog at which to post.  You could have been outsourced by some nonspecific Asian cartoon sweatshop workers.

      Posted by Steve Skubinna on 11/01 at 09:27 PM • permalink


    1. Oh come on. 500 words a day is less than the average uni student musters. I’m just thankful that he’s not sucking off the taxpayer teat with government handouts.

      (or is he…)

      Posted by Marty K on 11/01 at 09:31 PM • permalink


    1. West must be under the typically socialist impression that you’re justified in getting paid as long as you’re putting in any kind of effort. Only evil capitalists would assert that efforts (or rather, results) need to be commensurate with the pay level.

      Actually, since his 10,000 words were mainly useless drivel that can be had at approximately 500,000 other left-leaning websites whose writers don’t get any money for it, I’m not sure why he’s getting paid at all. Surely he’s gotta be on the list of positions to be axed by the cuts at Fairfax?

      Posted by PW on 11/01 at 09:32 PM • permalink


    1. Clearly you got shafted when you negotiated your AWA,Tim.

      They all told you to stick with the Award, didnt they?

      Posted by JamesP on 11/01 at 09:35 PM • permalink


    1. Were they all his own words?

      Were some words in bold [/b>]Surely these should count as two words and he should be paid overtime.

      Posted by Adam on 11/01 at 09:45 PM • permalink


  • Yeah, but Kenneth Robeson was five or six different people.

    It’s funny. I work full time and write about 500 words a day for the fun of it. Unless West’s blogging is just a small part of his job, I’m not impressed.

    Posted by John Nowak on 11/01 at 10:02 PM • permalink


  • re #8 and #1: just as well K Robeson was multiple persons
    Street and Smith Publications house name used by Lester Dent and and Will Murray for the Doc Savage stories, and by Paul Ernst, Emile C. Tepperman and Ron Goulart for the adventures of the pulp hero The Avenger.

    A quick arithmetic check would show that any sole person writing 60000 words a day
    would need to input 83 words a minute non-stop per 12 hours. That would be pretty fast on a manual typewriter.

    Posted by percypup on 11/01 at 10:30 PM • permalink


  • It’s quality that counts, not quantity.

    *looks decidedly embarrassed*

    Posted by Evil Pundit on 11/01 at 10:34 PM • permalink


  • Writing 500 blog words should take a touch typist about 45 minutes at most.

    As for those 60,000 words per day: were they in any particular order…?

    Posted by Hanyu on 11/02 at 12:06 AM • permalink


  • Hanyu—Did you ever read a Doc Savage novel?  Not really.

    Posted by richard mcenroe on 11/02 at 12:11 AM • permalink


  • There was a nifty exchange of insults going on with some foreign journalist from Newsweek but those comments have just vanished. West gets Margo’s old job and inherits her ethics too.

    Posted by Phranger on 11/02 at 02:08 AM • permalink


  • Mr Evil Pundit – you have no reason for embarrassment; we all know that your blog is really <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<THIS BIG>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    As for the West fellow, he is clearly obliged to post a certain number of words a week, and does not believe in exceeding anyone’s expectations.  They could have at least recruited someone who gave a toss about what they were doing, since he clearly doesn’t.  No style, no passion, no pizzazz, no interest; his blog is mind-numbingly bland and insipid – a bit like being slapped over the wrist by a school girl with a wet feather.

    Posted by Ck on 11/02 at 02:29 AM • permalink


  • Hang on CK, that stuff about school girls with wet feathers being as bland as West is a bit rough…

    Posted by Hanyu on 11/02 at 02:53 AM • permalink


  • Yes, Hanyu, I can see how that analogy may have been a tad more titillating than I had in mind, and certainly contains far more stimulation that West could muster with a several billions of words.

    Posted by Ck on 11/02 at 03:01 AM • permalink


  • Poor evil pundit -there he was with a arrer(ow) in his back…..He could wind up like Earl Harold…

    Posted by crash on 11/02 at 03:58 AM • permalink


  • I was curious, so I did a quick word count of my blog. Since October 24, I posted just over three thousand words, which puts me in the range of about 300 – 400 words per day.

    I work full time, which means I mostly blog after work or on the weekends. Then again, my task is made easier from Andrew Wests – I mostly use my blog to post ideas, reflections, poems, rants – things which don’t require research.

    The amount of words posted on blogs varies greatly. Some of my favourite bloggers tend to use bite size chunks of material, but some of the others go for long, wordy posts. There are better ways to judge the quality of blogs than by the number of words they post.

    Posted by TimT on 11/02 at 04:52 AM • permalink


  • I write 500 words a day in official e-mails, fer crying out loud!  Add in the reports and briefings, plus the personal e-mail and blog postings, and Mr. West is a lazy bum….I want his job!  Heck, I don’t even need to move to Australia, and I’ll take a somewhat lower salary.

    As for Kenneth Robeson….Doc Savage was cool.  Any Doc Savage novel makes more sense (and is much more fun) than something Andrew West wrote.  But one must indeed disconnect the reality check before plunging into one of those old novels…..which is something that Mr. West needs to do AFTER writing one of his posts, not before.

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 11/02 at 05:24 AM • permalink


  • TimT – I think you’ll find that the only person resorting to a word count to justify their productivity, their blog and their salarywas Mr West himself.

    If he wrote three astonishing words each week that would be impressive. But he doesn’t.

    Posted by Ck on 11/02 at 05:45 AM • permalink


  • You can knock off 500 words in an hour.

    99.99999999999999% of bloggers don’t get paid to blog, Mr West does. That’s the difference.

    Posted by Darlene Taylor on 11/02 at 06:57 AM • permalink


  • Hate to be pedantic, but would that be 30000 words including all the posts made by us randoms internet types, or 30,000 made by you alone?

    Posted by Gruntled on 11/02 at 08:12 AM • permalink


  • Tim’s busy enough typing on weekends to tell you that of his 30k words, 19k were quotes.

    What does this tell us about the worth of Tim’s or Andrew West’s posts ?  Nothing at all.  I don’t know if Andrew bothers quoting or even linking to anyone.  I don’t claim that Tim achieves the Alan Ramsey-like rarity of original material.

    As others have pointed out, the number of words typed is no guarantee of quality or indicator of effort.

    BTW, I should point out that neither Mr Doctrine nor Ms Coulter were suggesting that someone should teach Manhattan a lesson, although The Lancet are still liars and Rachel Carson is still worse than Hitler.

    Posted by LoneNut on 11/02 at 08:49 AM • permalink


  • LoneNut—read comment #20.  Then develop a sense of irony.  Or maybe humor.

    As to your last paragraph…..huh?  Context, place in, thank you very much.

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 11/02 at 12:55 PM • permalink


  • Darlene,
    But he has to think up 500 words to blog, and that takes up most of his time.  If your thought proceeses move at the speed of cold molasses that takes lots of time.

    Posted by Michael Lonie on 11/02 at 10:20 PM • permalink


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