Tuesdays with Judge: The Urge to “Fix” Your Old Work

Another edition of “Tuesdays with Judge.” What’s the topic today? Fixing your old work. As any artist will tell you, they don’t like looking at their old work. Ok, generalizing here, but most will say that (ok maybe I’m still generalizing). The reason? They think it’s crap and and want to A) destroy it B) fix it. Like artists, I can’t stand looking at some of my old writing. I think it’s awful. Why is this? C’mon, do I really have to spell it out for you?

It’s only natural that the moar you write, the better you get. The moar you practice anything, the better you get. Articles that I wrote 6 months ago, pale in comparison to my writing now. Friends tell me otherwise, but you are your harshest critic; you notice even the smallest things that you have changed over time. That’s why I try to refrain from reading my older articles unless I have to.  The urge to “fix” my old articles becomes too strong. I admit, I’ve already gone back and changed a few of my older articles.

But is this such a bad thing? To go and “fix” your old work? Yes and no. Yes because part of me believes your work should remain intact as written, for historical purposes (yup, 100 years from now, people will be looking back at Moar Powah and marvel at my writing).  And no because it is tangible proof, at least to me, that I am becoming a better writer.  This brings up a point I’ve wanted to make.

Part of any craft is to not only practice, as stated earlier, but to study others’ work. I look at many other bloggers and study their writing.  Hell, I even study my own writers’ writing! There are some incredible writers scattered across the various blogospheres.  People erroneously think “study” means “to copy.”  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  For me, I particularly focus on how bloggers use syntax and diction in their writing. My goal is to become a writer whose material flows smoothly, and I feel studying syntax and diction is the best way to achieve a “good flow.”  Hopefully, I can get there one day, as my dream would be to write for a living (yes, that is my silly dream).  Until then, I’ll continue to write, continue to study. Everyday, I’m shuff–ahem–improving.  Until next time people…

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Just a simple man, trying to find his way in the universe. Image hosted by servimg.com

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