RERUNNING AND REWRITING ONE’S OWN MATERIAL – Marilyn Armstrong

I’ve written more than 10,205 posts. I have rewritten several dozens of these and reblogged a few more. After rewriting, most of the posts are so altered I barely recognize them. A few others I rerun because I like them. They are favorites and I like seeing them “up,” so I post them when the subject arises. Some subjects come up for discussion regularly and if I have already written the post — and assuming I can locate it — after 8 years of blogging every day, it should be okay to reuse my own stuff.

If you have been blogging for a long time, you will notice your audience changes. Other than my few actual online friends, almost all the others will change within two years, most within one. I hope those who have stuck with me will excuse the revamping of previously used material.

When you write every day for years on end, you eventually realize that all that stuff you’ve written is a treasure trove of ideas, many of which could have been better written and certainly could use an update. New photographs wouldn’t hurt either.

Alternatively, I could write once in a while and drift away as so many contemporaries have already done. They don’t exactly stop blogging. They just blog less and less frequently. Eventually, you realize you haven’t heard from them in months. Their blog is still technically “alive.” They haven’t been dismantled, but there hasn’t been a new post in a long time.

We all eventually move on, one way or another. Meanwhile, I’m rewriting earlier pieces that I think deserve it. I also think the rewritten versions are far superior to what I wrote in 2013.  Many started out as “good ideas,” and over time have become much longer and better.

Here’s my theory:

  1. This is our work. We own it.
  2. If a TV network can rerun shows without so much as giving it a fresh edit, why can’t I? Is there a law that says every blog has to be brand new?
  3. I don’t know about you, but I can’t write three new pieces every day. Not good ones, anyway.
  4. 10,000+ posts is a lot of writing. Most of the earlier material hasn’t been read by most of the people who read me these days.

Nor do I feel I need to announce it every time I reuse material, especially when it has been extensively rewritten. You are always free to not read anything I write, whether it’s new, or reconstructed.

I hate throwing things away. Don’t you?



Categories: #Blogging, #Writing, Editing, Marilyn Armstrong, Statistics

Tags: , , , ,

17 replies

  1. I love the re-writes. It always has a fresh take a new look a new feel. In part, because the world has changed, in part we have. Maybe age, experiences, changes in our lives and circumstances. It all has an impact on what we write at the time and then later. I think it’s worth 2 thumbs up! myself.

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    • And I write much better now than I did a few years ago. Because I write every day, I’ve gotten to be a much better writer, especially in this format. So I kind of use the old post as idea that need further development and a LOT of updating.

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  2. I think it is the ultimate creativity to mine old material for new ideas.
    Leslie

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  3. I did this a couple of times with some of my old posts. I was reposting my anti-ode to Daylight Savings Time annually for a few years… until I realized it was diluting the hits the original post was getting. Plus WordPress, for some reason, re-uploads all of the photos when you reblog something… even if it’s one of your own posts where the images are already in your media library.

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    • You can control the reuploading thing by having them NOT add “related posts” at the bottom. It means rather than reblogging, you have to “copy” the post and rename it, too. It’s messing with the controls. It took me a while to figure out what to turn on or off. The important things are not to reblog but copy … and rename the new version. All it really needs is one changed word … and DON’T let them list related blogs. Let each one stand on its own.

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  4. Reminds me of my question re the Jazz music piece with your photos. I was SO looking forward to a new piece but also wondered whether WP just messed things up and delievered an already uploaded post. NOW I KNOW…. I’m happy to see re-used and/or updated posts, all the more as I’m still considering myself as a newby to your blog.

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  5. I’ve often wondered if those first followers stop blogging or just stop reading me!

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    • I usually go see what’s going on with their blog. If there is new material, then I figure they’ve gotten tired of me. If the last post was more than three months ago, I figure they are fading away. I’ve had people come and go multiple times, too, depending on what’s happening in their lives.

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  6. Right, still a lot of wear in those old posts. I sometimes pick when you put up a rerun/revamp but I don’t mind. In fact, I decided it was a good idea and do the same myself reusing photos and reblogging posts from time to time. I have got nearly 7 years worth of material and for the first couple of years hardly anyone read the blog anyway so I figure it’s still new to a lot of people.

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    • Our “fresh” audience changes by about 80% every year. We have regulars who are also online friends, but the rest of the bunch change regularly. They may appear as still linked, but it doesn’t mean they read you anymore. I have a bigger audience than my stats show, but each year new people show up. And after writing more than 10,000 posts, I figure they deserve a little more attention than one day online! I worked too hard to create them to have them vanish so quickly.

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