Writing a book is a big project. Over 25,000 to 45,000 words, remembering what messages, stories or examples you have used, and what data you have quoted is a challenging task.

It’s one reason I get my clients to dot point their chapters using my chapter plan.

Because it’s all too easy to repeat yourself.

When it comes to a message, repetition can be useful… as long as you tell us why you are repeating yourself. For example, you might say: “I’m repeating this message about repetition because so many people make this mistake.”

But it’s not ok to repeat stories or examples—unless you advance the story or example in some way. Repeating stories just tell the reader you haven’t edited your book!

The answer is to have a plan. And always engage an editor before you publish.

When (if ever) have you found repeating yourself to be effective?