Doing the Same Thing, Only Different

6:25 AM Gemma Fitz 8 Comments

Sometimes I wonder why I started blogging.
I used to write fan fiction. I posted my stories on FanFiction.net (and you can still read said stories here, if you wish), and, though it might seem egotistical to say it, I think I was a pretty well known member of the community there, when it came to Lord of the Rings humor (which was almost all I wrote). I knew a lot of people, got a lot of reviews (by comparison), and generally felt pretty confident in my own worth as a fan fiction author.

Of course it didn’t start out that way. For the first few months of my time on FF (as we affectionately call it), I had only three readers who reviewed even semi regularly, and two of them were my friends in real life. My first story still only has 2 reviews (it was really sucky). In the early days of my residence there, I often felt like I wasn’t making any progress and like nobody really liked or cared about my stories. But by the time my one year anniversary rolled around, I had come farther than I’d ever imagined, with stories I was actually proud of (a few, anyway), hundreds of reviews, and a boatload of friends who I really, really loved.

And then I started blogging.

Suddenly I was too busy to write fan fiction, or even read it. It became a struggle just to keep up with a single forum, and I completely gave up on trying to answer most of my private messages.

Instead, I was investing my time in pounding out blog posts, commenting on other blogs, and getting more serious about my original writing.

And it feels like I’m back to square one.

This is exactly what I was doing those first months of fan fiction. Maybe my memory is just suffering, but I feel like fan fiction wasn’t even this hard. I’m pretty sure writing blog posts is more difficult than scribbling funny one-shots. And it all feels so pointless. Why didn’t I just stick with FF? I could have kept on writing more stories and getting more reviews and making new friends. Instead, here I am, trying to start all over from the beginning.

When I started this blog, I thought of it as trying something new. It wasn’t really. It was nearly the same thing I’d done before.

To tell the truth, you’re not really doing anything new when you get another social media account or write another book. You're simply going back and doing the same thing you did last time you got a social media account or wrote a book-- just a little bit different.

(I like to think of it as if I’m time traveller going back and creating alternate timelines, if you’re not confused enough already.)

And you know what? That’s okay (going back to the beginning, not creating alternate timelines). 

Life is all about going back to the beginning. We have to eat three times a day, and wash the dishes after every time. Every time a musician gets a song perfect, he has to learn a new one, and I think it would be touching too close to home to mention how many plot bunnies we writers carry around, waiting for us to be done with our current novel. Some people go to church every week, some people go to school everyday, some people feel compelled to go on a diet every couple months. We have to keep covering the same ground over and over again, and while it may seem boring, or frustrating, or pointless, that's life.

And it's okay, because once in a while something different happens. Sometimes you get something special for dinner, sometimes you discover a song you really, really love, sometimes your plot bunny turns into your best idea yet, sometimes you find yourself getting 200 comments on a fan fiction, sometimes you get the opportunity to beta-read another blogger's amazing novel, sometimes someone pins your blog post.

And all in all, going over that ground again is worth it. Even when it makes it feel like you haven't gotten anywhere. Because you have, and every time you try something over again, just a little bit different, it's going to spring something new on you you didn't expect.

So, in celebration of trying the same things over and over again (and my sixteenth birthday), I've made the leap and got a Twitter. It might not work out. I'm probably not funny enough to make Twitter work out. But it's about time I once more tried something that's not new-- just a little different.


Have you ever felt like you're just doing the same things over again? What's something just a little bit different you've done recently? Or you'd like to try?

8 comments:

  1. Does this mean that you're not coming back to FF for sure? :( I'm so sad. I joined too late, and missed the era where you, Phil, CC and Lily were all posting frequently. I hope you come back someday and write Life of Orophin. I do understand what you mean about changing things up, though, and going back to the beginning. The same has actually happened to me, but just within FF. I used to be a big humour writer, mostly because I really admired Lily's stories when I first started(and I still do!) and wanted to write stories like hers, and other authors that I admired. After a while, though, I started to like more serious stories, and, while I don't think that I'm abandoning humour, I'm not writing about it exclusively anymore. Although I'm still inspired by other people, I've become more of my own writer- probably just because I've gained confidence. I'm even thinking of trying to write some original fiction!
    Anyway, I understand, although I do hope you come back someday and write more hilarious stories. No one writes about Orophin but me anymore... :'( Good luck with your original story, and I hope that you had fun at the beach!

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    1. I don't know if I'll be coming back to FF. I'll probably never get back to updating frequently, but I may occasionally post a new story, if I've got time. :) I still adore Orophin and Rumil and some of my plot bunnies that never got written out, and I'd like to do more with them. And I'll definitely keep posting on the forum, 'cause I can't abandon y'all completely! I'd miss you!
      It's always important to change things up (otherwise, I get bored), and also to become more independent and confident. And you should totally try out original fiction!
      Thanks for commenting, and yes, I had lots of fun. :)

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  2. Urghhhhh I feel ya. I've never been into fanfiction personally, but I get the frustration at going back to square 1 especially with blogging. Blogging is REALLY hard. xD

    Personally...I've spent a ton of time editing/rewriting Pariah over the past year or so, and it's the hardest thing I've ever done. Every time I start a new draft I wonder what on earth is going on with me, because I'm doing the same thing and I KNOW how frustrating it will be. It's just as hard every time -- but it's worth it. So I guess that's kind of the same?

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    1. Blogging is hard for you, too? But you make it look so easy!! :P

      I've obviously never experienced rewriting that many times, myself, but I can imagine how hard that would be and I just have to say, I have always admired how you've stuck at it for so long, when a lot of people would have given up and called it good enough. It may seem weird, but one of the biggest things that's kept me going on my novel thus far, especially with the editing, is that voice in the back of my head saying, "If Aimee can do it, you can at least give it your best shot." So I'm really, really glad you kept going, because it inspires me like you have no idea. And Pariah is amazing, so obviously it was worth it. :)

      Thanks for commenting!

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  3. Your post really resonated with me. I'm starting my MA at uni in a week and I'm really scared. I wonder if I'll fit in, if I'll be able to handle the workload, if I'll be able to make friends...I had the exact same thoughts when I started my undergraduate degree three years ago, lol. You're absolutly right in one or another, we always go back to square one when we start new things in life. It's scary (for me) but I guess we just have to accept it.

    And you're absolutly right, blogging is hard. At times, I really wonder how leople who have a full time jobs, kids and other activities are able to manage everything. I do find writing blog post much easier than writing fiction though. Maybe because I don't put as much pressure on myself.

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    1. It is certainly scary, but sometimes it helps to know that we've done this before and we made it through-- we'll make it through again!

      Responsible adults have always inspired awe in me. How do they (and you too, I'm assuming from the fact you're working on your MA) do it ALL and survive?

      I actually put less pressure on myself with fiction than blog posts, because at this point in time, no one actually reads my fiction, so I can just write whatever sucky nonsense comes into my head and say "I'll edit it later", whereas with blog posts I actually have to get it polished and legible and then I have to SHOW it to people, and I'm very insecure. But it varies from person to person.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  4. BLOGGING. IS. SO. HARD.
    Ugh. Just, seriously.
    I think blogging is definitely the same thing only different, and what keeps me going is that the posts are different and the people commenting are different and even as I grow, I do different things to change things up. I can be terrible loyal, but I can also yearn for change a lot.

    I think also that's why I have such a hard time of rewriting. Every novel I write needs SEVERAL rewrites, and is just hard to do the same thing... yet different. Boring, actually, and that's why I despise rewriting so much. *sigh*

    Thank you for your insight on this! I think a lot of people would agree. :)

    Katie Grace | A Writer's Faith

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    1. Oh, I know what you mean when you say "terribly loyal, but also yearn for change". I get bored easily if I don't mix things up, but at the same time I feel like I'm abandoning something important if I try to change things.

      Rewriting is very, very boring. I feel you're pain. But it's worth it in the end!

      Thank you for commenting!

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