I just finished reading a blog post from The Blonde Writer, which describes “10 Things To Expect When Refreshing Old Blog Posts,” and I could not have read it at a better time. I have been a little vacant here on my blog this week because I’ve been trying to iron out the rest of the posts I have moved from my previous site to my Drafts folder here. Good news: my Weebly site no longer exists – yay! Mediocre (because it’s not really bad) news: I now have about 20 drafts to revisit, reread, edit, rewrite, and some to just keep around as Drafts for later ideas. Through my rereading and revisiting of old blog posts, all of which I published last year or late in 2014, I have discovered a few things about myself and my writing habits that I would like to share, and from reading the post I mentioned above, I seem to not be the only one who goes through these discoveries.
Time and Frustration and Research and Time
Being cocky for really no reason, I half expected my posts to be overall in good shape; just in need of a little polish and shine. This is true for none of my old posts. I had actually expected to post one everyday this week, but as I read one, then two, then three, it was clear to me that I will need probably most of the weekend (and beyond) to properly revise and polish these posts. I am actually horrified at some of what I wrote, primarily for the following reasons:
- Too much ranting and not enough research
- Glaring typos that should not have passed through
- Nonsensical ideas that probably didn’t make sense to anyone else reading at the time, since they don’t even make sense to me less than a year later
- Did I mention too much ranting?
Now that I’ve been part of the WordPress community for a little while, and in the professional world for a little longer, my writing and perspectives have grown pretty far from where I was a little over a year ago (interesting how that happens). Seeing what other people are writing, discovering a plethora of blog subjects, and figuring out what I like and don’t like have led me to develop my blog into what I want it to be, or at least it’s starting to become what I want it to be.
This was one of my weaknesses in my English classes in college. I remember being pulled aside by at least one professor I admired to talk about how in class and on our online discussion board I was good at being spontaneous with developing ideas and discussions about a novel or text, but that development and discussion format wasn’t seen in formal papers I wrote for the class. That talk boosted my confidence about class discussions because I was always nervous about speaking on the fly no matter how well I knew the material, but it also told me to really take the time to look deeper into what I was writing, and make sure I didn’t make any points or statements that were not backed up or supported so that a reader would be able to follow along with me throughout a paper’s entirety.
As I look at many of my old blog posts, I frequently made statements and sometimes provided relevant or related links, but my discussion or development of those statements and ideas never went on past a sentence or two. I knew what I was talking about, but I’m afraid any readers did not. I believe I have done better with this, although I do think there is still room for improvement.
Ugh, this is one I was not expecting at all, surprisingly, since I’m an overly emotional person in every way. But the unexpectedness came primarily from me forgetting about the material I wrote about, thus I didn’t think about the memory lane effect. As The Blonde Writer says in #4 of her list, there were and will be definite tears on a handful of the rereads. Whether it came from my heartbreak over leaving New York or my published and unpublished posts about my Gram, the tears poured down.
Of course, not all were tearfully sad. Some were just regular sad. Okay, some were joyful, actually and ironically, like the recollection of wine tasting on Long Island and the piece I wrote about driving in the winter in Maine. These emotional reactions are comforting to me in the sense that I still have deep feelings about the places and people and things I have written about (and consequently will write about), which is important to me because I do my best writing during emotional breakdowns and epiphanies.
Even with the “setback” of having to really dive deep into my revisions and old posts, I am feeling better about where my blog is at now than where it was one year ago, and that’s not just because I detest Weebly and love WordPress. It’s also because I feel like my blog’s identity is becoming more polished, as I learn about and develop an understanding of blog writing strategies, and what I want to write about and how I need to get that done. This pride also comes from the amount of support I have been given not just by my mom, but other bloggers and writers who have liked, commented, and given feedback on my posts both here and on social media. I can’t thank you enough, readers, for the thoughtful exchanges of all kinds, and thank you for inspiring me with your own thoughts, posts, and discussions. Thank you for following along with me as my blog goes through changes, as I navigate the book and writing world(s), and as my identity as a writer/dreamer/human becomes more polished and defined.
Have you gone through similar or different experiences when revisiting old or past writing of yours? Share them with me, and be sure to check out the blog post I mentioned above if you haven’t already.