The Art of Repetition, The Secret of Success
I believe that the beauty of repetition is something that is not explored enough yet. Keren Ann
Repetition is a safety net that humans use everyday.
Writers rely on repetition in stories to hook the reader in. Mirroring an idea in a character will help the reader relate to the actions of one character against another. It’s a powerful device used in fiction writing.
The use of “tropes” are used in “best seller style” writing.
Think of it for a moment, a trope is a series of actions, or characteristics in the protagonist that the reader already knows about.
In best seller writing, fast reading that requires less attention and mental heavy work, a trope does the trick for writer and reader to connect to each other through repetitions of ideas.
A reader “gets it” through the use of tropes.
I think many writers go a little too far with the importance of using these tropes in fiction.
It’s nice when a writer avoids the obvious and takes the reader down an unfamiliar road, just to bring them back from the dark precipice with a familiar idea of life.
Psychology and Writers
In psychology it’s well known that the human brain uses repetition to feel secure about daily life. To avoid leaving the rails of a daily routine, repetition saves us from becoming dumbfounded by strangeness.
The posterior superior temporal gyrus is an area of the brain. It is used to create phonetic repetitions that help us to familiarize ourselves with the rhythms of language and another, similar, auditory area that organizes “noise” — like music.
Memory that Keeps us Sane
More importantly, we know that we have a part of the brain that helps us to learn and remember things for future use. It helps us stay sane, to recognize and apply ideas that we find important, into everyday life.
The beauty of this, is that anything we attempt to do well, can be mastered through the tool of repetition.
We can practice an action, we can repeat a set of phrases and learn a strange language.
When we repeat something that seems awkward and difficult, it will soon become familiar and easier the more often we repeat the action.
Many writers have discovered how important it is to practice writing each day.
We can’t exactly put our finger on it, but there is something about the constant writing, the practice of using words, phrases, building sentences, and shoving bits and pieces of story around on the paper or screen, that makes us better writers.
The brain is way too complex and unknown a universe to “know” exactly what is going on in there each time we put a few brain cells to use.
It’s just that when we do practice, some pretty amazing stuff happens for us.
If we read great writing, somehow, it rubs off in our own writing. That’s a fact.
The interesting part of “rubs off”, is that we often imbibe the new material with our own ideas and create something new and original. Readers love a new writer who reminds them of another great writer. But, they don’t like writers who rip-off other great writers.
The Repetition of Thoughts is our Helper
A simple, but effective thought that we have decided is powerful enough to become a mantra to support a physical action, or a mental process such as in mathematics or intricate thought puzzles, will soon become the structure behind an action.
Without first learning through the repetitions of practice, we will always be mediocre.
The problem is that it means we have to endure boredom. Repetition is a great set-up for boring actions of the mind or body. But if we want something badly enough, we will have to learn to endure.
Boredom in a world full of opportunities and quick fixes, creates the danger of busying ourselves with little, meaningless activities.
The results that we desire will always be the clouds on the horizon of our dreams, so long as we don’t realize that endurance is needed practice.
If we don’t understand the power of repetitive actions, we will only be dreamers.
Determination and Persistence — like the Mast that secures the Sail
I think that it’s in the sphere of boredom that we can find the answer to determination and persistence.
Being a determined person, and a persistent person requires energy. Mostly, mental energy.
After reading, thinking about, and pondering all the hacks and plans, the best practices and the super dooper grid method of tying up your boot laces, and so on, I’ve come full circle in life and come to the conclusion that we only have those same mental tools to rely on that our ancestors did. Persistence and determination.
Persistent Practice and a Determined Mind.
Writing, or sports, or business and money, each has its characteristics that we need to understand and learn about to be able to operate well in each field.
But it can never be mastered through simply reading the rules, or following instructions. We must practice.
Practice Creates Know How
We read about writing to understand what the components of the whole thing is, not to try to learn the know-how of it.
Practice, with a determined mind, will lead to understanding. Writers are supposed to be society’s understanders.
We practice expressing ideas in fiction and articles about our experiences. Those experiences ring true with readers when we get it right.
Practice takes us into the area of know-how. The knowledge that we call skill is knowing how to do something without much conscious thought.
We bring the readers juicy thoughts and ideas that make them sit up and gasp, or just feel like they’ve been transported to another world.
Avoid Hacks and the Easy Routes
The hack of today, is what we simply used to call a short-cut. It never gets the job done properly.
A hack is all about cutting corners. A bit like a trope — when a writer could, instead, take a risk and try for something unique. Much more exciting all round.
Practice leads to understanding of an action. Practice reading to inform your writer’s mind, and you might come across some amazing ideas that you can transform and use.
Steal like an artist, but don’t just copy a trope to please a lazy reader. Try and make them fall off their chair.
We see that other people are doing these things well, and hope that we can follow in their footsteps and reap similar benefits.
There’s always a YouTube video out there which will explain how to do it. But it won’t be enough if you want the real thing.
Our memories are a powerful tool. Memory helps us each day, to remember how important it is to continue down the same road. How ever boggy and difficult that road has become, it will be worth it all when we reach the sunny part of the woods.
Very often, we forget that success is always hard won. Persistence is a very simple thing, it just refuses to yield to any lie, any doubt, any wayward path that beckons us towards the promise of an easy time.
Persistence is so simple, it’s absolutely boring to carry out and practice.
There doesn’t seem to be any fun-value in persistence. That’s why we need to be determined to stay persistent.
We determine our way in life. Determination is to say, “I’ll take this path, and see it through come hell or high water.” Then we need persistence as the supporting tool.
When we determine our path in life, it’s exactly the same as when we determine what we will do each day. It’s a plan that we hold in our memory banks.
The more we repeat that plan, the more comfortable we become with the familiarity of the idea.
The hell or high water thing becomes a part of the game of life.
Determination develops into something that becomes quicker, stronger, and that you can rely on to keep you upright in a storm.
Persistence develops into layers of strength and reveals your true character as a writer, and artist, or a businessperson.
Following the same writing routine each day, with determination to write something great (yes, you can), and being persistent with our actions, honing the abilities we possess at this time, feeling how they work for us, and knowing that we have done our best, will always lead to success.