Moveable Types

Annie, another blogger who accidentally got lost in a cleanup of my feed reader a little while back, wrote up something of a concise guide to types of blog posts and, as near as I can tell, I’m pretty sure that out of the twelve listed types my posts regularly fall into five of them.

  • The personal anecdote.
  • The takedown.
  • The experiential reflection.
  • The sob story.
  • The link list.

One type of blog post to which I return again and again that I’m not sure where to categorize in Annie’s list is something I’ve variously described when talking out loud to myself as the unified field theory or murder board post. I’m thinking here of posts such as “The Mediocrity Of Whole-Personhood” and “Whither Adjustment?”.

These posts perhaps sit somewhere between the link list and the experiential reflection, in the sense that they are where I sort of work through something that’s been on my mind and do so by going through a series or sequence of links to things by others that I’ve recently read. In a sense, I put different people often writing about completely different topics into conversation with each other for my own purposes.

My process on such posts most often reflects the approach I specifically called attention to in that post about mediocrity.

There’s been a slowly-growing list of links in the notes file I keep to remind myself of blog posts I want to write but with which I haven’t yet quite come to terms. This is one of those posts, and I’m not entirely certain I’ve figured how to bring it all together.

In this case, I’ve decided that the only way out of the cognitive mud is to just start going through each link, in the order in which I saved them, and see if we can’t try to find our way to what I meant by collecting them, as we go along.

In the case of the post about adjustment, I actually ended up using links from one notes file about diagnostic language and some from a completely different file about enlargement and diminishment that I’d intended as its own, individual post. These posts aren’t stream-of-consciousness, exactly, but typically they come together in real-time as I write them, with very little going back to massage small bits here and there.

If only I had the motivation to try to flag each and every one of my posts by type, because I’d be interested to see the breakdown. That sounds like a good job for some future A.I. text analysis engine.