Saturday, June 28, 2008

Broken Record

I know that I repeat myself a lot. I'm working through the same ideas again and again, trying to find the best way to approach those same idea. This blog, I think, tends to run through the same set of ideas again and again. Partly that's because I keep meeting new writers who have the same old problems.

I was thinking about broken records. When a 33.3rpm phonograph recording is broken, there's enough in one groove (about 1.8 seconds) to state an entire phrase that is then repeated over and over. With a compact disc (digital) the skips are usually for such a brief time period that only a sound or a syllable is repeated. So I guess the phrase "sounding like a broken record" will drop out of language--or at least will change its meaning. ("broken record" can also refer to a Guinness-book-of type record, I guess--maybe it will take some meaning like that.)

Well, that's a digression. Anyway, I think that as a writer, you can't be afraid to repeat yourself and you can't be afraid to try again. If you don't say it right the first time, you need to work at it to get it right the next time. I keep trying.

I suppose I have something of a hope that if I say the same thing enough times I'll get bored of saying and find something else to say (rather than just going silent).

Off the subject: as I wrote I was listening to a random mix of music and Townes Van Zandt's song "To Live is To Fly" came on with this line:
"It don't pay too much to think about the things you leave behind."
This is a piece of philosophical wisdom that I work on a lot. I believe in it; it's not so easy to practice, however.

No comments: