A few years ago I read some of my past posts on this blog, not for any nostalgic reason, but to see if I coupd merge some of them into a book, codenamed Woodpecker Wars. Here’s what I found:
Though some posts are dated and others are not good, I generally like what I’m reading. Some posts are entertaining and others are insightful. Many are interesting—at least to me. Occasionally I’ll read a post I forgot about and be impressed.
However, when it comes to the details, I’m mostly dismayed. My past work contains errors and typos. The perfectionist in me wants to go back and fix them, but that would be too time-consuming. The impulse to edit my past work reminds me of the book Flowers for Algernon. A mentally challenged man who keeps a journal. He seeks permission to edit his past entries but is told to leave them as is—they are part of his history. Click To Tweet
That impulse to edit my past work reminds me of the book Flowers for Algernon. It’s about a mentally challenged man who undergoes an experimental process that catapults him to the genius level. Along the way, he’s encouraged to keep a journal. At first it’s hand-written and a mess but gets better over time. He learns to type and seeks permission to edit and type his past entries but is told to leave them as is—they are part of his history and shouldn’t be altered.
While I am neither mentally challenged or a genius, I’ll also leave my old posts as is—or maybe I’m just lazy. Regardless, the content that does end up in Woodpecker Wars—along with some new writing—will undergo careful editing and scrutiny. After all, I don’t want to make the same mistakes twice.
Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.