And french, je me souviens (which is also the quebec license plate motto). It's a very commonly reflexive verb, which underscores that memory of the past is something inside oneself, not something that's external and absolute. I wonder if it makes people more accepting of how we each have our own memory of something, as opposed to fighting about whose is "the" correct memory?
Correct. (To take your example: Om uw voorbeeld te nemen:) wij schrijven het boek zelf, does not follow from any reflexive verb, the word ourself (zelf) details and stresses that we ourselves are doing the job, but it could be left out and the sentence would still be valid: Wij schrijven het boek.
To show cases where it cannot (in Dutch) be left out:
zich schamen (to be ashamed): "Zij schaamden zich voor hun gedrag" ( They were ashamed of their behavior. ) Using the plural 'zij' (they) , you must follow up with 'zich' (themselves)
zich excuseren (to apologize): "Hij excuseert zich voor die uitspraak." ( He apologizes for that remark. ) Using the singular 'hij' (he) , you must use 'zich' (himself)
zich veroorloven (to afford): "Jullie kunnen je niet langer veroorloven om niet langs te gaan bij oma." ( You cannot afford not to visit grandma any longer. ) Using the plural 'jullie' (you), you must use 'je' (yourselves)
zich overgeven (to surrender): "Na een lange strijd moest ze zich overgeven." ( After a long fight she had to surrender. ) Using the singular 'zij' (she) , you must use 'zich' (herself)
zich verantwoorden (to justify): "Ik moest me verantwoorden voor mijn afwezigheid." ( I had to justify my absence. ) Using the singular 'ik' ( I ) , you must use 'me' (myself)
zich begeven (to go): "U begeeft zich nu op glad ijs." ( You are walking on thin ice now. ) Using the singular 'u' (you) , you must use 'zich' (yourself)
zich vestigen (to settle): "Wij vestigen ons in Friesland." ( We are settling in Friesland. ) Using the plural 'wij' (we) , you must use 'ons' (ourselves)
I hope this clarifies it a little better.
Because you =/= yourself. Jij wast je or jij wast jezelf both mean you wash yourself, but you can’t say jij herinnert jezelf zijn naam. Herinneren means both to remind and to remember, the combination for remember is je herinneren, jij herinnert jezelf would be something like you remind yourself, not you remember.