What to Do About Those Old Embarrassing Posts?

I don’t know why I didn’t see this coming. I assure you I feel very stupid about this. You see, I have become a slightly better blogger than I used to be and I have realized that my earlier posts are filled with spelling, grammar, and glaring newbie mistakes. I cringe whenever I read them now and I am trying to figure out what to do about them.

I should’ve planned for this but no one warned me. No one told me what to do with those crappy first efforts. No one gave me advice on where to put them. Now they are piling up, rotting, and stinking up the back rooms of my beautiful blog.

I guess it’s good other bloggers failed to mention this little detail. If they had told me that one day I’d get better and one day I’d feel the need to erase the old ugliness from the public eye I might never have started. I would have seen no point in writing those posts if I knew I would only grow to hate them.

I am afraid that I have wasted some good ideas, some really good topics, because I wrote them before I knew how. I had no idea what I was doing and now I have to figure out what to do. The way I see it there are three options.

1. I could delete them completely and rewrite them as future posts.

This seems the be the most obvious solution but it doesn’t feel genuine. It feels like I am pretending that I was a good writer all along. I think having those crappy posts here means everyone can see that I tried and I improved. They feel real. I know I have gone to other blogs where it seems like the blogger came out of the gate a good writer from the beginning. I wondered how this was possible and I doubted myself because I wasn’t as good at first.

I figure they must have purged the earlier work but I figure if I leave mine other people who are starting out won’t feel as inadequate as I did.

I also think keeping them around is good for me. It will remind me that progress is possible, even if it seems slow. I’ll appreciate them on the days when I feel frustrated. I’ll be reminded that I have come so far.

2. I could edit the old post and leave it where it is.

This option feels a lot like the last one except I won’t be pretending that the post is new. The problem with this is it still erases my poor beginnings, and anyway, the edits might never be seen. The old post would still be buried below months and months of newer work and I doubt many people go back very far through my posts.

This option also leaves me with no evidence of my own improvements. Every once in awhile I do like to look back, even if it is embarrassing, and see where I have come from. The old posts would read like the new ones. I imagine I would also feel like a liar. I’d feel like a fraud.

3. I could rewrite the post, but leave the old one where it is.

So the old posts would still be there to haunt me but I would at least be able to say I gave it another go. I think this would be the best show of my improvements. I could leave a note at the bottom of each to let readers know that they are not crazy, I did write this before, but I wanted to make it better. This would be the best continuation and would leave my timeline of writing progress intact, and it would be honest.

I think this is the route I will go so be warned that there will be repeat posts. I’ll start with the oldest posts firsts so that the time between the new and old will be father apart. I hope readers will appreciate that I won’t repeat the same writing so close together. I’d appreciate if could get feedback on the improvements. Let me know what was better, or if anything was worse.

Over time even these newer posts will become the old stinking efforts and I may rewrite them too. I may always be in a cycle of trying new things, then trying old things again. This is the way it goes though. We must always be improving and we must always remind ourselves of where we came from.

This keeps us humble.

This keeps us motivated.

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Lisa

Hello! My name is Lisa. I find the human condition fascinating and I often write stuff about that. I blog at zenandpi.com but you can also find me on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, and if you like what I do, consider signing up for my newsletter. Thanks :)

11 thoughts on “What to Do About Those Old Embarrassing Posts?”

  1. I sometimes submit some of my older stories to markets that accept stuff that’s been previously published on personal blogs. And whenever I do, I always give the story another edit. I think it’s a combination of me getting better and more distance to the story so its flaws become much more obvious.

    This is all a long-winded way of saying that I like option 3 best, too. It’ll be interesting to see how much the two versions differ.

    Like

    1. I agree, time makes your mistakes more obvious. When I first read over something my mind is still filled with what I meant to type, so I can’t actually see what I did type. I am interested to see what I do with a second chance to make it right too :)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve kept most of my old posts. There are a few that I deleted but that came out of my blog changing in direction more than dislike of the content.
    It’s great to see how you’ve developed this into a fully fledged post. It’s a great resource for newbie bloggers.

    Like

  3. Reblogged this on Writing and Works and commented:
    This is something I’ve been thinking about recently, and it’s an issue that I have faced myself.
    While practice may not always make perfect, it certainly makes improvement. The question is what you then do with the work that no longer reflects the best of your abilities.

    Like

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