Monday, 23 May 2011

Why I should never re-read Old Postings



Hullo ma wee blog,

I should never re-read old postings because..........

As far as I'm concerned there are few rules to blogging. Think what you want, write it down, bung it out there. That's about it as far as I've ever considered what I've written. Sure, it's nice to get a comment or two. Aye, even better when you get to know a regular commenter and fellow blogger and there develops a bit of banter, a mutual understanding. Shared thoughts, themes, values are batted back and forth between us, mutual appreciation and encouragement given, questions and challenges made and deeper understanding develops. That's the good side.

There's a concept about blogging I never really came across before today though. You see, when I post something, I generally do it like I am just now, off the top of my head. You know the stuff; brain cell engaged; thought occurs; post done; hit spellcheck; quick read and then 'bang' it's gone, out there for all to see. That's when - and I know it's wrong and my old school teachers are probably turning in their graves or getting ready to send letters of complaint to their local MP or something - I get that wee twinge of concern, the lack of confidence that almost always makes me go back and re-read what I've just posted and tweak it a bit. Just to make things a bit better. Or a bit clearer. That's what I do. Have done pretty much since day one. And it's helped me catch many a badly structured thought or poorly proof read missed-by-spell-check kind of error.

What I don't normally do is go back to a post after several months and re-read it. After all, it's done, any comments have been made and {generally} replied to. {sorry if I haven't. I genuinely do try to respond to all of them, it's just that I'm a bit of a forgetful if well meaning prat at times}

So what possessed me to go back and look at a post done last year I have no idea. Maybe I thought if I re-read it I would find some inspiration for another post I could do. Heaven knows - cos I don't. So, I started reading - it was one of my history posts and therefore a long one - and almost straight away I was thinking 'this isn't very well organised' and 'Oh, I shouldn't have said that in that way' or 'why isn't this further up near the beginning where it would make more sense?'. The more I read the more I began to cringe and get frustrated. Why on earth didn't I spot all this at the time?  How many people have started reading this and thought "What a load of tosh! Did you actually read this after you wrote it, you moron?" But I manfully ploughed on to the end and by the time I got there I decided that I've no option but go back and rework that piece or it's going to niggle. I need to take half of the stuff in there and throw it out or cut it down. I need to restructure it and get it to make more sense, never mind about the punctuation. { I think I may need to ditch the 'Crivens Jings' thing for a more accurate 'Blog of Unnecessary and Incorrect Punctuation Marks'}

Before that though I decided I needed to vent a bit of my frustration and that's why I'm sitting here writing now.

But I know what I'm going to be doing this afternoon..........

Oh - no! What about all the rest of the stuff I've posted?

Jings! Crivens! Help Ma Boab!!!

I'm not even going to look. I feel better already.

Listening to

13 comments:

Kat_RN said...

I feel much the same. I do impose a few restrictions on
what I write about, but not many. Lately my posts have
been mostly pictures and I prefer the ones with more
writing. I always enjoy reading your posts. I am a nurse, not
an English teacher, but I am fairly well educated (7 years
at college so far) in spite of my lousy spelling.
The point is, I read your posts for enjoyment, and I am
never disappointed.
Cheers, Kat

Alistair said...

Kat - Thanks, kindly said. I realise that sometimes, especially with the history stuff, I get lost in the detail of the story and seem to miss that to be fun or engaging it has to be first and foremost readable. I got halfway through the post I'm talking about and was frustrated with the poor structure and the sheer unneeded complication from the way I was writing.

If only someone could come up with a tab for 'reality-check' as well as 'spell-check' I could be much better......lol

Bovey Belle said...

Ah, the benefit of hindsight. If it's any consolation, I have never read your writing with a critical eye, just an appreciative one.

I've just found some writing I did 30 years ago - some I'm still quite pleased with - and then some older stuff I think needs burning to protect my reputation!

Sorry to be MIA for a while, but working muchly hard here . . . still hoping someone might come and view our house.

Nicky said...

Hehe, I agree, you definitely shouldn't re-read old musings! I often find that at work too - reading old reports is heartbreaking!!!

coastkid said...

er, i think like that if i look at an old post too, and i see my awful punctuation...
sometimes i think of giving it all up as it isnt improving or if a friend remarks on it,
if blooger spell check worked after 20 words then it would be a lot better,
i share your heartbreak Al!, but please keep going as your writing is excellent..

Alistair said...

At the end of the day BB it's written for enjoyment and entertainment so I suppose that's the best way to approach it.

I don't know how I'd feel about something I wrote so long ago. Glad yours was of a standard you approved of though.

I agree CK. Spellcheck misses so much too. I wish it could read my thoughts - it can be annoying how it doesn't pick up the contest.

and I don't think either of us should stop writing.

Alistair said...

Nicky - It was an eye opener right enough

Rebecca S. said...

After I post I read it over a few hundred times. I'm quite obsessive that way. Sometimes I repost an old one and then the editing comes in in a big way, but I prefer to feel encouraged that as time goes on I can see my writing in a better light and make improvements. Onward and upward, Al! Your blog is always a good read, whether or not you find it full of faults a few months down the road :)

Alistair said...

A great positive spin on something that could be a problem here Rebecca. Thanks for the common sense approach! X

Jane said...

Al, as you know, I'm pretty new to this blogging lark but I can totally relate to what you're saying! I quickly read my post a fair few times before I publish (usually because I'm writing late at night and it bugs me if the clock goes past midnight - because then it publishes as the next day!), then usually read it again in the morning and often edit. But, when I go back and read the old posts I think "Shit, how did I miss that spelling mistake" or "why did I put so many commas in?!" etc.
Reading your post has reminded me that I'm writing my blog just to, well ... write. I promised myself at the start that I wouldn't get too hung up on my grammar, or worry about 'proper' writers reading it and thinking it was rubbish.
I love your blog - and I really appreciate the time that you take to comment on mine. So, please just keep on doing what you're doing - and sod the odd mistake here and there as they certainly don't make your blog posts any less of a damn good read!

dbs said...

Best not to look sometimes. (I just noticed this is a sentence fragment. Oh well.)

Kat_RN said...

Alistair,
I find reality to be somewhat over rated. Just keep writing! ;)
Kat

Alistair said...

Thanks for all the replies on this one folks. It shows that we all suffer from much the same anxieties I reckon.

And don't worry - I won't be stopping anytime soon but hopefully I will proof-read just that wee bit better as a result of what I see as a bit of a wake up call.....

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