I think I’ve just discovered a wonderful way to give the old ego a bit of a reality check.
If you happen to have a blog (or other online vehicle where you discuss your daily life, thoughts, doings and wotnots) and you ever find yourself thinking that you might be getting a little full of yourself or that you would benefit from being brought down to earth a little, can I suggest going back and taking a look through all the stuff that you have posted in the past?
In my case, it took a couple of hours. I originally started blogging years ago on Blogger.com (my old blog is probably still on there somewhere). I then moved everything on to WordPress, hosted on WordPress.com, and finally onto my own WordPress installation on my own server.
In between the various technical changes and moves between hosting platforms, I blogged at random (and sometimes rather long) intervals, discussing the various things that were happening in my life at the time. As you do. I still have all of those old posts stored away in my database here, invisible to the outside world, but available for me to revisit and reconnect with my past self. Today, I thought that I’d take a wander through them all and see if any of them are worth reviving and putting on show once again – whether because they still hold some kind of relevance today or because they have some particular historical interest.
Er…um…yes. A fascinating exercise indeed. There’s a couple of hours of my life that I won’t get back. What I found during this bit of introspective blog archaeology is probably best summed up as follows:
- About 30% relating to events that were relevant (and, in some cases, important) at the time, but which are utterly irrelevant today
- About 20% relating to my work in the various art and craft businesses that Glenda and I have run over the years (largely irrelevant today, so can be combined with the above)
- Maybe 20% relating to personal events that I’d rather not revisit any more, thank you very much (relevant, but painful or sad)
- At least 20% being apologies for not blogging more regularly, comments on how long it was since I last blogged or that I was changing blog theme/host/software/underwear/whatever once again
- Which leaves maybe 10% that are what I might call decent content that might be worth revisiting at some point in the future.
The other thing that I discovered (and which I always knew really) was that my writing style was atrocious. Well, maybe not atrocious, but definitely long-winded, excessively complex and prone to extraneous verbiage. (See what I mean? If you think I’m bad for that sort of thing nowadays, you should see what I was like a decade ago!)
At the end of the whole process, I left my desk feeling suitably humbled, more than a little embarrassed at my younger self and promising in my heart of hearts to be a better person and to try to write more interesting and worthwhile things in the future. Oh, and to keep a closer eye on my writing style while I’m at it. (Not that this post is holding out too much promise on that front, but we’ve all got to start somewhere.)
I may still wheel out some of that “decent 10%” of old posts in the future if I think it’s worth doing, but I think the other 90% will be remaining locked away. (And you should probably thank me for that.)