Stop me if you’ve heard this one

Lately, I find myself stopping to make sure I haven’t previously written the thing I’m currently writing. For starters, I have a horrible method for moving things out of my “I should finish this idea” folder into the “I wrote about this idea!” folder. It doesn’t help that I often draft articles in my head while I run, shower, or do chores and then forget that I had the thought. It’s kind of a mess in here.

Assuming that I slip up and write the idea down twice, hopefully it’s in a way that doesn’t look like I’m plagiarizing myself. Is it weird to write about the same thing multiple times, if it’s nearly the same idea?

I hate repeating myself, telling the same stories over and over. “Have I told you this one before?” is a frequent prologue to great stories. But is it necessary? Hearing a mediocre story twice is slightly painful, but hearing a great story twice is no chore at all.

If I keep writing an idea, coming back to it, maybe there’s something important there? Perhaps it’s still bouncing around in my brain for a reason. I haven’t fully wrapped my head around it, or articulated the idea in a way I find satisfying and essential.

This is a personal website; the line between “just play the hits” and “stop trying to make fetch happen” doesn’t have to be so strong here as it would on, say, the New York Times. So, stop me if I write about an idea so much I run it into the ground. It’s just that I’m trying to get it out of my head in the right way.