I recently went through every single Literary Lab post and made sure they were all labeled correctly. I deleted unnecessary labels and added new labels to our list of helpful posts in the column off to the side. This took me all day - about 12 hours. I had to skim through every single post to see what it was about. The most interesting thing, although not surprising, was how much we repeat ourselves on here. I noticed that in three or four of my posts I say the same thing, just in different ways. Some of these posts had more comments than others, but that could be a combination of many different factors. They are spread out over the course of the two years we've been blogging here as a team.
This has raised concern that we're not being extremely helpful over here, but I also realize we get new readers every day, so maybe it's shouldn't be a huge concern. Still, wouldn't it be better to simply re-post the things we've already said? Or do we say them better the second or third or fourth time around?
In this frame of mind, I started thinking about the stories we tell as writers. Aren't we repeating the same things? I've struggled with this issue for a long time. I recently put up a post on my private writing blog about it, and I'm happy I did because a lot of my friends there explained (in very nice ways) that running themes in our writing are important and that I'm the same person writing my stories, so why would every single story be drastically different? It's a good thing if I shine through on every single one. I can tell the same story Davin tells, and it will be completely different. We did something to show this when we took on a short story challenge a few weeks ago. You can read those stories here.
Let me get to my point before I bore you to tears. What I really want to say here today is that even though we repeat things here at the Literary Lab, I don't think it's a bad thing. I repeat myself on my other blog, too. I read hundreds of blogs and see the same things being said over and over and over and over again. It's frustrating sometimes, but I'm also beginning to see that as humans, we need things pounded into our heads before we truly understand something.Writing is complicated and messy and intense. I don't have to read the posts I don't think will help me because I've already read about the same subject five billion times. I can skip those posts, but someone else might need to read them.
I'm going to stop complaining about the blogosphere and how everything is repeated. In a way, it's nice to look at it as a celebration of the writing process. It's something we never seem to get tired of exploring and talking about, and that's exciting to me. However, I do need to step back and take a break every once in a while since it is so intense. I'll be doing that soon, and perhaps that might be a good time to re-post some of my favorite posts I've done here on the Literary Lab.
What do you think? Are you annoyed by the amount of repetition that goes on in writing circles? In your own writing? Or do you think it's fun - even necessary - to see the same thing through different lenses?