Yesterday as I worked on that day’s article about the 1% versus the 99% and the redistribution of wealth, a common thing happened: It took several revisions to not only organize my thoughts but, more importantly, to figure out what they were.
In a blog, that process means there were several premature publications of that article and, depending on when someone looked, they would see different versions with different thoughts and, sometimes, different conclusions.
I’ve read that one of the reasons for writing is to work something out. The process of writing forces the organization of, the development of, and the refinement of ideas. That was certainly the case yesterday.
If these were all done in a dark corner and only the final version were to hit the public spotlight, this would be fine. Back when articles went through a publisher and a printing press, those revisions were all worked out before ink went on paper, or once there, it couldn’t be changed.
Blogging doesn’t tend to work that way. In the blogosphere, most bloggers dash off a few sentences and then hit the “Publish” button.
Wham, bam, thank you, Mam!
And for most, once it’s published, they never change it. Oftentimes, that’s because they only see what they thought they said, not what they actually wrote. Seeing what you actually wrote is quite difficult and that’s where an editor or someone to double-check your writing or even the passage of a few hours can help.
Seeing what you said is not always easy.
What I should do, and what I intend to do most of the time is to dash off some initial thoughts and then begin the revision and rethinking process. Not until I achieve something that seems to have some coherence and completeness do I publish.
But yesterday, that “revise, rethink and republish” took several iterations, often with a break of an hour or more before realizing I hadn’t really said what I thought I wanted to say. As a result and depending on when you looked yesterday, readers saw different versions.
One solution is, of course, to not push the “Publish” button until the article has reached its final maturity. Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, it’s not always clear when that final, final version is finally in its final appearance on the computer screen, finally.
So, dear reader, while I will try to do better (and publish things only after they’ve achieved some degree of maturity), I will apologize in advance for those rare occasions when what you see now is not what you’ll see here five minutes later.
It happened happens. (This article has eight revisions!)