What it’s like to blog for almost 7 years

After a while, you get the feeling that you’ve already had that idea … and then discover it’s not just de ja vu. Here’s Paul Ford, noting a phenomenon similar to my experience of strolling through Avery’s archive:

[I]t kept happening: I’d have an idea, search through my archive, and find that I’d already had that idea, some variation on it, six years ago. I was, without a doubt, repeating myself. Spinning the wheels of my hobbyhorses.

Just this week, I had the occasion to respond to a question a reader sent via email by linking to half a dozen or more of my own posts from years gone by. It was just the latest opportunity to realize how much ground we’ve covered together around here. I’d lie to say I don’t sometimes wonder if I’ve worked this plot of land enough. Perhaps it’s time to let things go fallow for a while. But the strange thing is, I still enjoy it all very much - far too much to give up. True, I don’t get to blog as much these days as I once did, and obviously one’s own predilections and interests evolve over time. But there’s a satisfaction to be had from this enterprise that has been and remains unmatched for me, even if there may be some inevitable rinse-repeat repetition from time to time.

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  1. Wade wrote:

    It’s like listening to a GREAT Song on repeat more than once. Plus there are new ppl joining all the time. I KNOW you make it BETTER every time!!! Thanks for doing this. It has made many OTHER TINGS in SGM not quite as relevant any more!!! For THAT you should be proud too!! Just THINK!!!

  2. Hector Luna wrote:

    I even seem to re-tread my own previous comments in repsonse to your posts. But it’s a relevant cycle. And you make gospel bloggin’ fun and impacting. Heard it from a popular gospel group this weekend, “Avery is the King”. So what you’re doing does not go unnoticed.

  3. irishlad wrote:

    ack aye Avery sure keep it up.(there’s a bit of homespun Scots-Irish thumbs-up for you) :)

  4. quartet-man wrote:

    Hector, if Avery is King are the interns his subjects and Wade the court jester? :D

  5. Videoguy wrote:

    You knew it had to happen, right? I mean, how much can one blog about a genre that hasn’t changed in 40 years? At some point, surely you had to know that you were relegated to become the TMZ of SG.

  6. judi wrote:

    Glad to know you are not going to stop. For selfish reasons. You inspired me to start blogging. I guess I’d better get back to tending to my own garden in that case. Even though I’m not that knowledgable about SG, I still enjoy reading your posts.

  7. carl wrote:

    Why not switch metaphors from dirt farming (”how much ground we’ve covered”, “worked this plot of land enough”, “let things go fallow”) to the river, and take the point of view that it’s a different river every time you step in it.

    “Stepping” sounds too tentative for what you’re doing, though. You’ve executed some pretty athletic dives as well as a few cannonballs.

    The blog matters. This range of topics and opinion isn’t found anywhere else. You’re a scholar and I think the blog, as a process and as a record, is as least as important to scholarship as a book.

  8. CVH wrote:

    #4 quartet man - you left out one key position…who’s going to be the Queen?

    Wade, irishlad…careful…..

  9. carl wrote:

    Here’s an example of why the blog matters to me. Shannon Childress is one of the reasons I began investing so much interest in southern gospel music several years ago. I heard him live only once, as pianist for the Hoppers, but anyone who understands the dynamics of ensemble performance could see that the man is a musical genius. So I listened to every recording I could find. I’m one critical listener but I was (and am still) in slack-jawed awe. It’s real musical integrity to be such a technical virtuoso and still keep the focus in performance on the experience of the music itself and not on the performer. He brought the best out of the Hoppers.

    One of your most beautiful pieces of writing is your description of him last September, here on the blog. Now last week his friend and colleague, and co-writer, sent in a heartfelt, compassionate update. There’s nowhere else but this blog where that particular kind of sharing goes on.

  10. quartet-man wrote:

    #9 I just came here to say that Shannon Childress has passed away.

  11. quartet-man wrote:

    #8 LOL

  12. irishlad wrote:

    8 I Think i’ll stick at being a Knave.
    So sorry to hear about Shannon Childress, quite a young bloke too.

  13. Janet B wrote:

    Please don’t go anywhere, Doug.

  14. Wade wrote:

    I’ll take Court Jester & Official Caller of BS!!! Thanks Q- Man!!

    CVH… I think you and Irishlad are offical pot stirrers!!! As far as QUEEN GOES… Well that has to be Kirk!! :-))))))

  15. irishlad wrote:

    14 Bahahahahahahahhahaha..saved me from saving it.

  16. Ode wrote:

    #13, Amen. Avery rocks!The blog is matchless for those attempting a real introduction to this type of music and culture.

    Av,you are Genius of Wordsmithing, Wizard of Brilliant Prose, and active rebel against religious assholery.We love u. Archived posts are great read, they are of timeless beauty. BTW, if you teach online English Writing classes for the Uni, I’d love to sign up for fall semester, regardless of the price. I got skype/webcam. Can be a real pain in the class;) ESL student among English majors is audacious, but what I lack in knowledge I make up for in chutzpah.

    #2 :) Gospel groups declare a gay man the King ? Glory be to God, finally. The business needed major remodeling for years.

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