Theme Schemes

Since starting belikeme, I’ve been posting on Sunday mornings, aiming to create entries that stand alone, the blog becoming the topic only when I can make it more about me than it. I have mentioned being somewhat dissatisfied with my blogging approach, and that I am considering options for additional content. Until now, I’ve only been thinking about that, not doing anything, believing it important to first adopt a routine that I could follow reliably, and also having other work to occupy my time.

Now that I am confident that I can keep up a weekly pace, I hope to take some occasional steps beyond my regular postings. I don’t have a coherent concept for additional routines, but may first post an occasional Wednesday entry specifically about belikeme itself. I want to introspectively analyze my content and process, and draw some conclusions about what I should or shouldn’t change for future posts. One reason I write these posts is to find out what I actually think about specific topics. To find out if that even works, I need to reflect on what I wrote about those topics and how I wrote about them, and then write a post about that to find out what I actually think about how well writing about a topic to find out what I think about it actually works (sorry!). For these possible Wednesday posts, I am not planning to constrain myself with the one-page blurb format as I have with the Sunday posts. I will let them shape themselves, although I will still cut, cut, cut. I may also choose topics other than belikeme itself.

For the blog-as-topic posts, I imagine I will first catalog my subject matter. I already have a feeling I spend too much time on certain aspects of my personality, and I also that the one-page format is too constraining for certain subjects. Possibly, although not probably, I will re-write some posts in a more permissive format, or maybe collect certain redundancies into new (constrained) posts about that subject and have done with them. I’m confident that this process of introspective analysis will cough up additional Sunday post ideas (I currently have about a couple dozen in my Drafts folder), and that writing less constrained posts will give me ideas about structuring both the longer and the shorter ones.

I wasn’t initially trying to develop a particular style, simply letting my constraints, which force me to cut viciously, implicitly dictate some structure. Looking back at my first two dozen posts I notice some elements that I like, and others that I dislike. I like that I can cut from a two-page ramble to one page of coherence by removing irrelevant or repetitive material, but I don’t like the abrupt transitions and endings that cutting sometimes produces. With practice I may be able to smooth some of that roughness out. I like when I’ve accidentally tied the beginning and end of a post together after an apparent tangent in the middle, but though I don’t like feeling I need to do it every time, I do plan to do it more deliberately.

This isn’t poetry, so there’s no rhyme or rhythm scheme, but the two styles I see evolving might be referred to as “theme schemes”. The first might be denoted A -> B. I simply start discussing a topic and say a few things about it, a simple linear exposition that might find itself a component of a larger argument in the future, like a lemma in a proof. The second might be denoted “A ≠ B -> A = B (!)”. I introduce a topic, then a seemingly different topic, and then unify them with a surprising twist. This post is A -> B. You might think a one-page format wouldn’t support a large variety of theme schemes, but who knows? I expect that I will be experimenting with the concept.