Not long ago, I wrote a post on my desert island bookshelf. The idea came to me while I sat in my office and happened to glance over at the shelf containing all of my Will Durant books: a complete shelf of books. Those, I thought, were the books I’d want with me on a desert island. In the course of writing the post, I discovered that I’d already written on that very subject three other times.
That is a side-effect of having a blog that spans 17 years and 7,100 posts. I am bound to write about the same thing more than once. For a while this stressed me out. I would get a good idea for a post, and then immediately search the blog to see if I had written about it before. The better the idea, the more likely it was that I had already written about it. So I’d beg off and find somethign else to write about.
In the last two years, however, I’ve tried to set aside these worries. Why not revisit the same topics from time-to-time? After all, my opinions change, I learn new things, I have experiences that alter how I think about the world. Not writing about them because I’ve done so before misses an opportunity to show how my thoughts about a subject evolve over time.
One example of this that I frequently point to because it is so glaring is my opinion of audiobooks. Ten years ago, I outlined 4 reasons why I could not possibly bring myself to listen to audiobooks. A little over a year after writing that post, I subscribed to Audible and listened to my first audiobook. Nine years later and I’ve listened to nearly 600 audiobooks, and purchased nearly 1,200 audiobooks. During those years I have written repeatedly about how great audiobooks are.
This, of course, is an extreme example. In other cases, I’ve found that I’ve written on similar subjects (with almost identical post titles) but years apart. For instance, I’ve written about one of my favorite moveies, L.A. Story, a couple of times. I wrote about it in 2011, and more recently a little over a year ago.
Also, while I have a core of readers who’ve been with me for a long time (and for whom some of these posts may seem repetitive), readers come and go. There are always new ones and the new readers are more likely to encounter the newer posts. In other words, what seems repetitive to me may not seem so repetitive to readers. Then, too, not every reader reads every post.
If you have gotten this far, you may be asking if I have previously written about previously writing about posts. Or, as the title asks, didn’t I write about this already?
The answer is yes, of course I did. A little over two years ago, in a post called “Repeat After Me” I wrote about posts I’ve already written about. You really can’t get much more meta than that.
Written on March 9, 2022.
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