Friday, July 6, 2012

The Repeatedly Redundant Recycling of Reviewings

If I were writing a book, I would only need to make any given point within that book one time. I may choose to repeat my point in order to make a certain impression on the reader's mind, but it is only essential that I make a point once so that it can serve whatever function it serves as part of my larger argument or explanation. That's a book, though, you only write it once. This is a blog, and on blogs it is essential that you repeat yourself.

Not verbatim, of course, the repetition should change each time. And the changes should not just be aesthetic changes used to mask the repetition. Each time you repeat yourself on a blog, you should be looking at what you are saying from a different angle, treating it a little differently, playing with the light so that you can really understand what you are discussing. If you have readers, this is a way of returning to the core essence of your blog that attracted them in the first place; if you write for yourself, this is a way of returning yourself to old fascinations to see what they look like after you have changed.

Some blogs are essentially nothing more than this. There is some central theme that the blog author just posts over and over again, the only difference being variations in the news articles that precede the repeated theme. Other times it is a handful of themes. But in anything published over time rather than all at once, it is essential that you repeat yourself.

I do not want it to be misunderstood that this post is about what works for bloggers. Look to the right, does that page count look like the page count of a man who knows what works for bloggers? This is about how important repetition is period. Because even leaving the whole concept of writing behind, we have to repeat ourselves to maintain any kind of stability in ourselves. We need rituals, we need habits, we need traditions that bring us back to our past. Without this kind of repetition, our present self lacks ties to our past selves and will be equally alien to our future selves. We will constantly spin off in whatever direction seems most lovely at any given time, we will lack anchors to ground ourselves and bring us back to familiar points of view. It is in this way that we have something like a persistent self.

That is why we should not fear redundancy. This is why we should be okay with repetition. This is why we should embrace covering old ground. This is why it is desirable that we should do the same thing again and again.

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