Blogging

Ever Experience ‘Blog Post Amnesia’ When an Idea Hits?

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Have you ever had a great idea for a post only to discover you’ve already written on that very topic? I call it blog post amnesia.

The other night at dinner, I spotted an article about cell phone etiquette. I thought it might make the basis for a good blog post. It was easy to come up with a few notes right off the bat. It wasn’t until the next day that I stumbled on that very post that I’d written three months earlier. I didn’t remember writing it, but the ideas I thought about writing were pretty much what I’d already posted. So I called this little mental faux pas a case of “blog post amnesia.”

Over 20 years, I’ve written more than 7,800 posts here at Patrick’s Place. So one can easily imagine that I’ve covered some topic more than once.

The blogging gurus out there insist that a blogger should pick a narrow topic and stay in that lane. If you write about only one topic and you manage to keep your blog going for 20 years, imagine how easy it would be to cover the same thing more than once.

At least I cover multiple topics here on this blog. That way, there’s less chance I’d get tired or feel there was nothing left to talk about. There’s always something to talk about here.

But after so long, it’s sometimes easy to forget whether I’ve covered a specific topic before. I try to do a search here on the blog to make sure I haven’t done the exact same thing before. In this case, that little search is what kept me from essentially posting a rerun.

There are certain topics I’ve definitely written about more than once. I’ve explained my grammatical pet peeve about using the phrase due to instead of because of more than once. Here, for instance, is the most recent example. But it was not the first time I wrote about it. That wasn’t a case of blog post amnesia.

I’m sure it won’t be the last time I write about that little pet peeve. But in those cases, I meant to revisit the same topic!

This time around, I had an assist of sorts. My iPad, which I read while I had dinner, did not update the Washington Post app I was reading. So instead of showing the accurate time stamp, it showed the article was only three weeks old. Some of the points in the article struck a nerve and seemed familiar. But with the timestamp, I knew I hadn’t written a post on that topic since the article looked to have been published.

It wasn’t until I found the older post here that I went back to the app. By then, it had refreshed itself to show that the article I referenced the first time around had actually been written four months ago.

Mystery solved!

My best advice is this: avoid blog post amnesia by doing that quick search. If it’s a topic you think just feels easy to talk about, it’s possible you already have talked about it. If you have a new take, by all means, go for it. But if you’re going to write the same message, that search might save you a bit of embarrassment!

Have you ever suffered a bout of blog post amnesia? Did you find your old post before you wrote a new one?

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.

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