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Sep 28, 2012

Stories we tell

Every week, I look back and try to find a story, somewhat entertaining, and hopefully not too narcissistic. Many a blogger succumbs to the temptation to justify themselves. And even in portrayal of own weaknesses, one is often secretly proud of one’s own repentant righteousness. But each of us is not really that interesting at navel-gazing. The other temptation is to present a history of one’s own thought rather than a story of oneself. We talk about ideas rather than our selves. This does not often work, because people want to read about well-considered, not half-baked ideas. Very few can improvise thought of good quality; one needs time to produce something of importance. Blogs and tweets suffer from low production value, which is basically, the volume of effort and time put into writing per unit of output. I have no illusions on how many genuinely new ideas appear in my 263 entries; probably not that many. Like many others, I also sermonize without a license. Let’s be that or this way, let’s do this and that; all of this is addressed to an audience that is pretty busy as is, and with fairly established beliefs and preferences.

Despite typos, ill-considered topics, and sloppy writing, my little writing exercise has received 51,206 page views since it started counting in June of 2008 (I actually started in July 2006). I am very grateful to those who look at this blog even briefly, for it keeps my only non-email writing discipline going. Thanks to Google’s relentless tracking, I know which entries drew the most views, although it is hard to know why.
This may be a case of graphomania, but I am not giving it up just yet. We all constantly construct narratives of our own lives. We stitch the chaotic flow of events together into quilts of memory and meaning. Those are not necessarily beautiful or profound stories, but they go beyond personal use. There is a point in sharing them with each other, because we live and work together.

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