Going back over things I wrote for Yahoo has really given me a sense of perspective. I am trying to stay true to the original works, only changing minor things and fixing small errors. It hasn’t been easy though. Every time I look at one of these, I feel the need to do a full rewrite. Some are better than others, but all feel a touch unpolished to me now. Two years from now, I am sure the blogs I have been posting will seem the same way.
I am led to understand this is fairly common among writers. Our older works are somewhat less than our best works. At the time, they were indeed the absolute best you could do with what you knew and your experience. Now, looking back, some of them can almost be an embarrassment. I just thank God I didn’t publish some of the works from my high school years.
Still, I think it is worth realizing that looking back and seeing your mistakes means you are growing beyond them. If you look back at your work from years before and think it is still great, you’re doing something wrong. Everything could use more work. Everything could stand to have a little more polish. Sure, if we did that, nothing would ever see the light of day, but it’s still important to remember. If your old work looks like it needs more work, then it means you are still advancing as a writer.
I think that’s my biggest takeaway from all of this. Part of why I am trying to do minimal changes to these articles is to highlight where I was verses where I am. There has been clear growth in my writing since I first began to publish online. Heck, there’s been growth since I first began the blog. Keep growing and accept that because your skills aren’t static, nothing you wrote a year or two back will feel good enough for what you consider acceptable now. It’s a mark of pride I think.