Writing the Same Thing Again


Anonymous asked: “Recently I’ve been writing poetry, and I’m feel like I’m repeating the same concepts and style over and over. I’d like to know your opinion because I feel lost.”

Know that this is not always a bad thing. It means that there is something there that interests you, that you want to further explore. You may have written it in a way that didn’t satisfy your curiosity or there’s so much there that you feel you’re not even scratching the surface. 

There are topics that are so big and that matter so much that one poem may not be enough and if you feel like you’re repeating yourself too much, it might be that you are not digging deep enough to talk about one very specific particular element that you’re struggling to talk about. 

For instance, topics like race, gender, and sexuality are not simple. A poem might only be able to talk about one small facet of your experience of it. The next poem might be a slightly different facet of the same topic. You don’t have to fit everything into just one poem, and you don’t even have to say why that’s the topic that matters to you or what your relationship is to it. You can dive right it, understand that your reader is smart and willing to take the time to figure things out. 

This goes for short stories and fiction too. I personally love to talk about femininity and gender identity and I fall into ruts too sometimes. For awhile I was obsessed with comparing werewolves to women and eventually that metaphor got tired and I stopped trying to make it work. It might have worked once or twice, but eventually, it didn’t. I’d exhausted it. And I realized there’s other things I could be focusing on. I came up with new metaphors that excited me and I moved on. There comes a point where you have to tell yourself that you’ve just got to let go. 

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