Thursday, 30 June 2011

What you've written is rubbish

That's what I tell myself twenty-four hours after thinking I've written something brilliant (I sometimes think in the third-person, this may or may not be a problem). It goes like this:

Immediately after writing:

This is the most brilliant and insightful thing that I've ever written.

Twenty-four hours later:


After coming back you can see these things for what they really are. The reader with fresh eyes can see the rubbish bits. Then it's time to rewrite it, or just to change most of the words. There's a difference. Rewriting involves dramatically deleting everything and starting again. The other is surgically removing every piece of wrong. Afterwards you're left with something new and shiny, and almost always better.

This is harder with things like blog posts, since it's out in the world straight away. Which is why I'll put up any old nonsense. What? I mean, um, finely crafted blog posts. Yes.


  1. Yes I know where you are coming from with this post!!

  2. Change ‘written’ to ‘slept with’ and you’ve got another regretful and common occurrence.

  3. ^ Heh. My favorite line from this week was from Steven Colbert. "Apathy. And we all know that apathy is a "gateway drug" to crystal 'meh.'"

  4. I have the exactly the same problem. I usually spend at least a couple of days agonizing over the tiniest of wordings in a review, but a week later I'm never completely happy with it. Still, I guess the good thing about blogging is that you CAN change things after the fact.

  5. I only ever notice the mistakes in my posts after they're published. Frantic editing, then see another mistake, then more frantic editing.

  6. Interesting. This seems to be a common problem. I think it's contagious. That is something I dislike about blogging, you have to do FRANTIC editing to fix it before anyone comments on it.

  7. It's the mistakes I don't notice for weeks that really annoy me. Or the ones I still haven't noticed. I'll just have to let it go.