With the benefit of hindsight

rear-view-mirror-835085_960_720Do you ever re-read your older posts? Why do you do so? How do you feel? Do you correct the typos or errors if you spot them? These are some of the questions I’d like to answer in today’s post.

When I open my WordPress site, at least here on my laptop, the first thing I can see is my Site Stats page. Before I switch to my WordPress Reader, I sometimes scan what posts and pages people have viewed recently. Surprisingly, it’s not always the most recent posts that get the most views on a particular day. And believe it or not, I sometimes end up staring at a title which, at first sight, looks totally unfamiliar to me. This usually arouses my curiosity to such an extent that I click the link to see what the post is actually about. If it’s a really old post, it sometimes feels as if it had been written by a completely different person. After some time, I do manage to recall the situation which is described in the post, but otherwise, it’s as though the reader (the current me) and the writer (the then me) were two different people. Something similar happens to me when I nostalgically flip through my reading journal from secondary school.

Anyway, sometimes I feel like patting myself on the back for what I once created but sometimes I just marvel at the weird or overly complicated phrases I used. Well, I certainly looked them up in a dictionary to impress the reader because they are not part of my working language inventory.

It goes without saying that writers can’t easily spot typos in their own writing (that’s why it’s good to have a reliable editor). So to answer my last question, yes, I do correct typos once I spot them. One may wonder what’s the point if it’s months or years after publishing and tens, hundreds, sometimes even thousands of people have already seen them anyways. Well, if you have the opportunity to polish your writing and learn from your mistakes, why not?

Although I don’t have an official editor, I do have two guardian angels (I’m not going to disclose their names unless they come out themselves), who sometimes PM me and kindly draw my attention to a typo or a problem in an article of mine worth correcting. This is fantastic and I really appreciate the feedback because I’ve learned so much from these discussions. How could I possibly improve my writing without having an extra pair of eyes watching over me? And how could I be a good teacher if I found it difficult to accept such feedback?

Below are four examples of what I’m talking about. I hope my guardian angles don’t mind me publishing these. Their way of addressing the issues is something we can all learn from, I think.

Výstřižek6.PNGVýstřižek 3

Výstřižek 4.PNGVýstřižek7.PNG

What about you? How do you feel about your own writing in hindsight? Do you have an extra pair of eyes to guard you?

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About Hana Tichá

I'm an EFL teacher based in the Czech Republic. I've been teaching English to learners of all ages for more than 20 years. I love metaphors and inspiring discussions concerning teaching, learning and linguistics.
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5 Responses to With the benefit of hindsight

  1. Tyson Seburn says:

    I’m often quite proud of myself for the quality of some posts I’ve done, even so long ago. It’s a perfect bit of research or just a conference talk to consider how ELT blogs are collections of one’s identity over a long period of time. Dave Dodgson touched on this at IATEFL this year and it has interested me ever since. Ahh, the benefit of having blogged on one subject for nearly a decade… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sandy Millin says:

    “I sometimes end up staring at a title which, at first sight, looks totally unfamiliar to me. This usually arouses my curiosity to such an extent that I click the link to see what the post is actually about. If it’s a really old post, it sometimes feels as if it had been written by a completely different person.” Yes, yes, yes! 🙂 Sometimes somebody asks me if I know anything about a particular subject, so I’ll Google it and my own blog will come up. It’s hard to remember everything you’ve written when there are so many posts!
    Like Tyson, I also enjoy looking back and my blog and seeing what has changed and how I’ve developed my ideas and my teaching.
    I’m also going to out myself as the author as some of those comments (and another one about 5 minutes ago!) – I enjoy being able to explore language with you, Hana – it always makes me think. I don’t get much chance to teach nowadays, so I have to take my opportunities where I can find them! I’m glad you find them useful and not annoying. I know that when you use (one uses) language in everyday situations, people are unlikely to correct you, but as long as I ask people if they mind first, people I’ve corrected have always appreciated it. I know I would too when I’m speaking my languages, now that I have no teacher or classroom exposure – it’s the only way I can upgrade the language I’m using. 🙂
    See you next weekend!
    Sandy

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hana Tichá says:

      Dear Sandy, first of all, thanks for coming out of hiding, my guardian angel (you may remember that we discussed this phrase in the past too). The points you bring up are always spot-on and I really appreciate your feedback. So, whenever you miss teaching, you know who you can turn to. 😀
      I’m happy to hear that we (you, Tyson and me) view blogging from a similar perspective – as a long journey – as continuous professional development. Thanks for being part of it. 🙂

      Like

  3. Peter Pun says:

    Yeah I do that all the time. Sometimes my views have changed a lot compared to the initial posts. I used to write a lot more click bait too.

    Liked by 1 person

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