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Do you ever fear that, as a blogger or a writer, you’re repeating what you, or worse, what others have said? I do, and unlike other things, I consider this to be a perfectly rational fear. Do you ever fear that, as a blogger or a writer, you’re repeating what you, or worse, what others have said? I do, and unlike other things, I consider this to be a perfectly rational fear. Wait… Anyway, the point is that mindless repetition can be a terrible thing. According to Stephen King’s Storm of the Century, hell is repetition. Imagine the worst thing that you can fear happening to you, and it happens to you over and over again, for eternity. That’s hell. That’s part of why we mix things up at my job, switching everyone from one duty-station to another every hour. For one thing, it means that everyone has to be pretty good at everything. For another, it means that we don’t get bored to death and decide that we have to go medieval on the next patron who asks for the location of the very clearly labeled return desk.

We take your questions very, VERY seriously.

When I’m not considering acting out D&D-based fantasies, I just worry that I’m going to run out of things to say on this blog, and my few readers will leave me, and I’ll be left talking to myself. After all, there’s not really a whole lot of structure to what I write about, other than that it’s sometimes writing and other times stories of library work. Honestly, though, I can’t really expect my blog to maintain any sort of rhyme or reason to topics when I can’t keep focused myself. Other times, I think that maybe going crazy would be the best thing that could happen to me. Repetition could be a form of writer’s block, I suppose. Maybe you can’t come up with any new ideas, and so you end up rehashing something that you wrote months  or years ago.

Don't worry, Stephen. I still love you.

I guess my biggest fear as far as repetition goes is that I want to write novels, and as my good friends at a favorite weekly webcomic like to say, “Sooner or later we’re going to have to stop calling them ‘novels.'” Are all the good ideas taken? Yes. No, seriously. They are. Every story is a retelling of an ancient story, when you get right down to it. The difficult task of crafting originality is based in the presentation. It’s the same with food, really. I mean, you can have ramen noodles every meal for a month, to the point where seeing them would make you physically ill (and likely violently so), but if someone hands you a silver platter with an ornate ceramic bowl filled with ramen that’s been topped with a slice or two of pork, some green onions, and whatnot, and you’re probably going to say “Hey, that looks delicious!” Moreso if you’re hungry. The point is, we’re stuck with repetition, whether we like it or not. The question is how we’re going to handle it.

Think back, oh writing ones. Think about your favorite influences, and what they wrote, and who or what inspired them. It’s a vicious circle, but that’s not really a bad thing. Popular stories resurface regularly. Sure, if you don’t want to work too hard, you can just jump on the bandwagon for whatever’s trendy right now. However, if you want to create at least some semblance of actual writing, you’re going to be better off to come up with something that hasn’t been done to death (hahaha, vampires) in the last ten years. Tell your own story. It might be incredibly similar to something someone else has done. Think of the poor bullfighters who tried to right autobiographies after The Sun Also Rises debuted. I’m not saying that writing The Sun Also Rises will get you anywhere now. Repetition, or at least perceived repetition, isn’t always the best thing you can have going for you. Now a modern story of a man wandering a European city and searching for meaning in his life, well, that could be something special.

Good luck, fellow writers. Off to the grand adventure that is life!

2 Comments

  1. My anchor when I start feeling uncertain and insecure about what I’m writing is to go back to the best bit of writing advice I’ve ever gotten: “Write the kind of book you’d want to read.”

    So write the kind of blog you’d want to read, the kind of story you’d want to see, and the kind of writing you wouldn’t mind trying out. Then it doesn’t matter if you’re repeating yourself or not. 🙂


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  1. […] but it was this moment that really won me over. I knew then that I was going to have to return to one of my favorite books of all time. It’s quite the change of pace from the other story that I’ve been reading lately, and […]

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