Changing the Past

Trent Draw

It took a little while for my blog to spin up. I know that’s not uncommon, I’m just stating fact. In the last three days I’ve gained more followers than in my whole  first month, in the last two weeks more new readers than in my first two months. It’s not that there is a line at the door waiting to get in but, as I said, it just took a while for my blog to spin up. Most of my current followers weren’t around for my first few posts.

In the early days I still wrote posts as if I had a large following. And it isn’t like nobody saw these early posts. Since the blog was still new quite a few of my Facebook friends popped in to see what it was all about. In fact, one of my most popular posts, at least from the number of views, came from this era since a few Facebook friends reposted it. The review of my kayak still gets several hits a week. That was one of my very first posts.

Recently a few blogs I follow reposted old articles.  I think that’s a good idea. I’m looking through some of my early posts and have picked a couple out to use on those rainy days when my idea well is dry. Yes, I understand that is an awful use of mixed-metaphors, however, neither mixed metaphors nor reposts of old material is the point. I want to talk about revising old posts.

Strangely enough I’ve been seeing some activity on some of my older posts. Unfortunately most of this activity has been on some of my weaker or more out of date posts.  Sometimes I’ll see something ancient come up and instantly blush from embarrassment.

One example of an out-of-date article is my 750 Word Challenge post. It has received more views in the last month than in the first 3 months of its existence. It refers back to the first story I posted on this site, Laura’s Eyes. Although I like the story, it is not my best nor my favorite. So over the weekend I went back in and added links to all of my posted 750-word-or-less stories. I didn’t update the actual article, though it was tempting.

I have a question about this. Is it wrong to go back and change old posts? If I see a glaring mistake I might change it, but should I change it just because I think I could make it sound better?  Should i change posts because times have changed?  new posts have made the old obsolete? If I do change it, should I put a little note at the bottom stating the article has been changed?

I’ve always tended to think of a blog as a type of on-line magazine. It really isn’t, of course. A magazine is a one-way street while a blog is interactive. Once something is printed in a magazine it is set in stone. Is that true for a blog?

A blog is designed for the here and now. When we enter a blog we are immediately greeted with the latest and greatest. Older posts are archives, history. Is changing an older post changing history?

As another example, an older post has recently been viewed a few times. I just reread it and hated the ending. Is it bad to make a more satisfactory ending? Revisionist blogging? Changing the past? Obscuring the blog’s progression?

I’m curious on what all of you think about this.

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This picture has nothing at all to do with the post, I was just too busy to draw something new today.  Quick self portrait in pencil

8 thoughts on “Changing the Past

  1. Victoria

    Great post my friend! You certainly can go back and change old posts. It’s your blog and you call the shots. I’m happy you are gaining more followers, that’s so very cool.
    Ok, on a different note, I want your honest humble opinion on my blog name. Should I go back to the previous one that you like better? -:)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks Victoria! I may change and edit a few of the older posts. I’m sure I’ll reblog a couple. When I started I had no idea what went into the care and feeding of a blog. I’m going to hit my 100th post in a few days and will talk about it a little more then.

      Now on to your blog name…

      OK, I made a response for you but it looks like you changed it back anyway. I do like “My Love Affair With” though I can understand how it can be limiting. I forget the “new” title, something like “Silent Musings from an Aspiring Writer”. Close? Since you have a couple of books you are going to try to market I can see why you would want something like that. On the other hand, just like “Linking Loops” tied you down to knitting more than you liked, this might tie you down to writing about your writing experience. I do like both titles. “My Love Affair With” is more informal, chit-chatty and easy to remember. “…Aspiring Writer” might be more where you want to push the blog. Hard call.

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      1. Victoria

        Good for you! Ok, I took your advice along with several others input and went back to “My Love Affair With”…
        Good advice my friend and thanks so much!

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  2. pranita patra

    I have thought a blog to be my own personal space, it sometimes represents me as a person. we do share it with others, let them have a peak. I feel that it is up to you what you do with it, experiment in different ways. And I would love to read your old stories in a changed form! I read Laura’s eyes! I liked it :)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Hi Pranita. It’s my blog and I can do what I want to. A blog like this is weird. In ways it is, as you said, a part of me that I happen to share with others. At other times it is the “official face of Trent”. And I hear what you are saying about it being up to me how I handle it.

      I hate to disappoint you but I probably won’t revise the stories/fiction too much. I may edit them a bit. There are other posts that people keep look at that aren’t fiction that I hate and want to totally rewrite. Those are the ones I want to change.

      Thanks for the comments and kind words.

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      1. pranita patra

        Hey,I like “Official face of Trent” :) nice way to put it! Hmm, I get what you are saying! And I think you, as you wish to,could change the non-fiction ones too! We keep evolving into new versions of self, so do our thoughts and so does our style of writing! May not change completely but it does evolve, I have noticed. Why not put out newer versions of those thoughts too if that’s what you like!! Who knows it might attract the viewers who have already read V.1 to read V.2 and like it even more than before!(apart from old ones) :)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Hi Wayne, You me both about not really understanding the blogging world. I’m learning, slowly. I’m definitely going to repost a couple of my older posts and I may rework some ideas I’ve explored in the past. The thing I’m not so sure I’m going to do, but might, is go back and rewrite posts but not repost them. Nobody would know they were rewritten unless they had had read them before and went back to look.

      I like the idea of refreshing old ideas to create new ones.

      Thanks for the comment.

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