Re-writing Your Posts

As I have written here, part of the reason I blog is to organize and polish my ideas.  I use two rewriting practices to accomplish this:

1. Present Dialogue Re-writes

If commentors misunderstand my writing or point out obvious mistakes or weaknesses in my thought, I will (right then and there) fix up the post. And I usually acknowledge doing so (if the change is substantial) in the comment thread.

2. New Linkage Re-writes

Months or even years later, when I am visiting another blog and for brevity sake want to linking to one of my posts  (again, one of the reasons I blog), before doing so I often go back to the post I intend to link and re-read it to be sure it still says what I believe and is written well.  If not, I fix up the grammar/spelling mistakes that I notice, improve weak ideas and logic, and maybe even touch up formatting or style.

Question to readers: I’ve heard other bloggers object to changing their posts. They view their posts more as journals, it seems — like diaries that show their thinking over time. What do you feel about my method?  Do you polish up your blog?



Filed under Philosophy & Religion

12 responses to “Re-writing Your Posts

  1. Ian

    I edit posts all the time. Though I would never edit a post to retract something, I’d do that in a comment. I do commonly edit for typos, for flow, for poor terminology.

  2. @ Ian:
    Ah, I may retract something — without hesitation. But I would acknowledge it in the comments. Otherwise, when I refer folks back to a post, they may not read the comments. I use my posts to communicate with folks on other blogs. You do too, right?

  3. I edit for typos and mis-formatting. I sometimes add a clearly marked short update. Mostly, I’ll add comments.

  4. @ Neil,
    So, you sound like Ian. And it sounds like both you gentlemen would not go as far as I would. I would love to hear you both think out loud of why you wouldn’t do what I do, and then a step further — if you feel it better that others do as you do on this issue. (not that I will change my mind but I am curious) Thanx

  5. I view my posts as a complete finished work (almost) and wouldn’t dream of revisiting it. If Leonardo were alive, would he drop by the Louvre and give the Mona Lisa a touch up? OK, my posts aren’t da Vinci-level, but they still feel like a product of the moment. I will update punctuation/spelling/grammar problems if I notice them, but, if I think the original point is stupid, I’ll leave it out there, stupid and all. If I feel like it, I can revisit it later in a new post and ridicule the past. I view my posts not as an inventory of who am I now, but as the random droppings I left behind.

    If I were trying to refine my point of view or establish a definitive point, then, yes, of course, I’d rewrite as often as it takes, published or not. But, that’s not my goal.

  6. The editorial eye and prowess of other good writers honed my skills more than anything else. I am always grateful for objective criticism of my work, and happily edit when it is offered. Nothing is perfect. Fellow writers often provide insight that makes a piece clearer, more powerful. That is the goal.

  7. I usually let it stand and then hone in another post if needed. I feel that each post is a “preliminary conclusion” or “this is where I am as of 3-11-13 at 3:30 p.m.” But that’s me, and I respect your method and have used it to hone a few of my high traffic posts like the “Clobber Passages” and the matrix series. May have to consider using it more…

  8. Orange,
    Ah, so you are in Neil and Ian’s camp.

    Kim Nelson,
    You sound like you like my method too.

    Looks like you can see the benefits of my method.

  9. rautakyy

    @ Sabio Lanz, thank you for these posts about blogging. In short you have given me much thought about how and why do I blog. I have allways appriciated your council on the matter, even if I have not allways adopted your advice in practice.

    An artist might want to improve their work for as long as they could, but I go here with Ian. I only improve my posts from grammatical errors, if I even bother to do that.

    I sometimes revisit some of my former ideas and as my vision grows I might have a change of heart, but I would rather write a new blog entry about why I think differently from what I thought before than change my previous text alltogether.

  10. @rautakyy,
    Then I have done a useful post. I have illustrated clearly how my approach differs from others. I look at the blog as a work which is in the forming — not as a personal diary. I look at it as a tool, not a snap shot.

    If my opinion on something significantly changes, I too do a new post. I am not talking about those sort of changes.

  11. I haven’t done much rewriting beyond the immediate, but I can see myself doing so in the future.

    The letters I’ve written to the paper won’t likely be rewritten.

  12. I recently changed a post because a religious person was “offended” in some way, actually. I asked for his input on the right words to use but he offered none. Kind of pathetic actually.

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