When it comes to conversation, I hate repeating myself. It’s one of my main pet-peeves. But in my work and content, I’m constantly repeating things I’ve done before to progress and improve.
Let me explain.
Just as you need to show up at the gym to train a few times before things stop putting you in agonising pain when you're first getting started; repetition in creativity is the same deal.
This seems counterintuitive to today’s mentality of always moving forward and finding new and novel ideas. Why would you want to spend time looking back at old ideas or repeating yourself when you could be doing something more “fun”?
The answer is simple:
To find the new ideas and knowledge that will let you take your skills and ideas to the next level, you need to spend time revisiting and remastering the things you've worked on before and finding the places you can improve.
With every cycle of iteration, you'll notice new things and (as you'll get faster at the main elements of the production) get more chance to work on further levels of polish.
Over time and with a lot of work, ideas and improvements present themselves based on what someone is doing and the environment they are doing it in. You can see plentiful examples of this in nature, but people often overlook how important it is to keep the same mentality in mind when working on their goals and content. Just as animals and humans ourselves have altered and adjusted to survive and thrive through time, you need to also be evolving your plans, habits and work to succeed and gain the skills and traits you need to succeed.
Each time you work on or revisit an idea, it’s important you document the challenges and thought-processes you go through; along with how you solve them. By breaking down the processes you work along in this way, you help to cement the knowledge and are always working to evolve your craft for future runs at ideas.
The evolution I talk about goes further than just animals, habits and work; it’s a vital component of the content you create and release to your audience as well. Keeping this in mind defeats the problem many suffer with of overthinking what to build and wanting to be original to the point of getting nothing done. When you leave this mindset of always chasing the new and instead work on the core ideas you know most about, you’ll continuously be improving and evolving those ideas and the skills associated with them.
Say for example, you're looking to grow a blog, but find yourself struggling to find new drafts to work on because you think "I have written about this before". That's the wrong way to look at things. Because even if you haven't written about something yet, someone else definitely will have. This hunt for a “unique” idea will always be fruitless.
So get over your fear of repetition and remember there are no original ideas anymore anyway. Take ideas you’ve already used and have another go with the things you’ve learned to last time to take things to the next level. Breaking out of this mental prison and instead being willing to revisit things you have covered before also unlocks the ability to share with more frequency. That leads to more potential eyes and ultimately, more success. This, along with the opportunity to become better and the momentum you gain means that not being willing to repeat and remaster things you’ve worked on before will result in you missing out on a lot of new perspectives and knowledge.
Always be vigilant in seeing if you have learned more about something to share an updated version of what you worked on, or if you have any new takes. That way, you’re continually working to improve and grow your craft and content.
Don't be afraid of looping back and redoing something to make it better and show more potential customers.