Listen. Think. Speak. Write.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Repetition versus repetitive

I've been binge reading the words of a popular author recently.  Obviously, I generally enjoy the books or I would have stopped after the first one.  However, now that I'm like 5 in, I'm seeing patterns that have begun to annoy me as a reader—for example, a very controlling mother and a very fast resolution (too quick to resolve big issues, IMHO) among others.  Readers, viewers, listeners generally like repetition.  People enjoy the familiar and appreciate knowing what to expect.  It's why formula works so well in TV and movies. 

However, it's a fine line, though from repetition to repetitive.  Once that line is crossed though, we move from expectation to boredom.

Doesn't that sound a little like the workplace?  It's nice to know what you're supposed to do from day to day.  It's great when you can feel like you've mastered things, but there's got to be a little zing in there or it becomes so mind-numbingly boring that you spend your days dreaming up extravagant ways to quit.  Or at least watching YouTube videos of people who really did it with flare.  This woman is most certainly, "Gone," for example.  

Or how about your exercise routine?  Why do you think I have umpteen million different work out DVD's in my house AND a gym membership? I bore way too easily.

I'm not saying that life has to be all glitz and glory all the time.  One of the most important lessons I'm constantly telling my kids is that you have to go through some of the boring to get to the good stuff.  Routine ballet class with its focus on skill and repetition must precede winning at dance competitions. 

For that reason, I expect some repetition when reading and writing and even living.  I know there are boring parts to everything we do.  

But as soon as repetition feels too repetitive, the audience is probably lost.  

What are you ruts?  If you write, what are your repetitive habits?  

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