To scrap or not to scrap

It’s a short post today, but on a subject that I’ve been thinking about for a while: my old posts on this blog. I hate them.

Not so much the internet as me this time.

I started this blog in 2013 just a month before starting at law school. It was meant as a distraction from my studies when I needed it, and it worked for that purpose well enough, but that also meant I didn’t put much time or effort into my posts. I also didn’t bother to connect much with any other creators at the time, meaning my blog was practically an island as far as WordPress went aside from a few other bloggers I interacted with, most of whom have since retired/disappeared.

The site existed in this state until the beginning of 2019, when I decided for some reason to actually put serious work into it. I think the timing had to do with a change in my work situation — I’d recently quit a job that I hated so much I would have preferred going off the highway overpass into the river than to the office, and that’s almost not an exaggeration. Not exactly the best state to get motivation in.

Ever since, I’ve been pretty happy with my work here, both the volume and (far more importantly) the quality, but I still have those old game and anime reviews and some assorted bullshit posts clogging up the index pages up above the header image. That doesn’t make me happy, and even less so since a lot of people still find the site through those old posts according to my stats page.

The question is what to do about the situation, and despite how I feel about those old posts, my solution is to do nothing. That’s partly out of sheer laziness and lack of desire to go back and sift through old work by year, but I also hold out the hope that at least a few people who do find my site through those old posts check out my newest ones and realize I’m not a complete dumbass. If that’s the case, it’s worth keeping those old posts up. Or maybe I’m being too hard on my past self, that dumbass.

I might be more mature and thoughtful about what I write here now, but it’s still all relative.

Just a few idle thoughts today, anyway. Tomorrow I might post something more interesting. Until then!

12 thoughts on “To scrap or not to scrap

  1. As someone just starting out blogging, being able to check out older posts from established bloggers and seeing that they used to suck can actually be pretty motivating. I would have said to keep them but then you mentioned that people are still discovering you through those old posts which definitely isn’t ideal. I think it is possible to hide these posts from search engines. That way you can keep the posts but not have people discover your site through them. I’m not entirely sure how to do that though. It’s probably something complicated.

    • You make a good point, and one I didn’t consider. I’m sure I felt the same way when I was starting out.

      I’ve heard about hiding posts from search engines, but I guess if I do that those people searching for the terms that hit on those posts wouldn’t find my blog at all, so I’ll probably just keep them as they are.

  2. 🤔 I think that you are being too hard on yourself.

    Also, people are finding your blog via a search engine’s recommendation (Your older blog posts are gaining traction).

    Now, you could delete those old blog posts if you are deeply embarrassed by them.

    The choice is yours.

    By the way, you can even go a step further by rebranding your entire blog by changing its URL and basing your entire blog on something else (Hopefully, something that does not embarrass you).

    Do enjoy the rest of your day!

    • Most likely you’re right. I don’t really want to delete those old posts — I just want to beat my past self over the head (lightly.)

      And who knows, maybe I’ll look back at myself ten years from now and wonder what the hell I was doing then. Maybe this is just what it means to get older.

      As for the rebranding, I think that can be a good option for someone who’s had a false start with blogging — maybe they find they don’t really enjoy what they’re writing about or something about the site just isn’t working for them. Nine years in, I don’t think it’s possible for me, but it can be a good option depending on the circumstances I think.

      Thanks, and same to you!

  3. I always like keeping my old garbage around. It’s a great reminder of how far I’ve come in the past 5 years. Like – if I’m ever down on my writing I just read one of my early reviews, and I’ll very suddenly feel a lot better about my current quality level. It can be tough to remember where we came from, and appreciate the growth we experienced so having that tangible reminder is nice. At least, I think it is.

    • This is a good point. Keeping it around does make my new writing look better by comparison! And yeah, it is what I started out with so it would feel kind of shitty to just scrap it all.

  4. I dunno… More so in the past, I used to link to my older posts as references for current work. In some ways, I view my content (all of it) the way an academic views their CV – as a continuous body of work. Eliminating the oldest seems dishonest somehow.

    OTOH, basically being all about seasonal anime, my blog and my body of work is more focused than yours.

    • You make a good point — it doesn’t feel quite honest to dump my old posts as a whole. I see what you mean about scope as well.

  5. My site started as BS and is still BS so I can’t really relate to your situation 😆

    I do think it’s a good idea to keep the words of our past selves around. We change so much and who we were deserves a voice too, eh.

    • Same, honestly. And yeah, this seems like the consensus, and for good reason. Even if I kind of hate my past self… well, I’m not crazy about the present one either! But he’s a work in progress after all. I guess a slight amount of self-kindness or whatever you call it can help there.

  6. I had the same journey as yours more or less! Started this blog on September 2018 and I remember my posts being rather bland, crappy and not well-written. Most of them were too informal, and void of any unique substance to them. They were also too wordy especially when describing things I liked/didn’t like on it. Not to mention, I had school and that was a timesink as well.

    I took it more seriously around a year later and finding work helped to give me more room to improve my writing here, and I have to say I’m happy with how formal, structured and more interesting my topics have become, especially the Catholic anime reflections part. I somewhat cringe and don’t bother to look back at my old posts for that matter, but won’t delete the lot of them any time. Why? Because writing is a journey, and I want anyone who reads my blog to see the growth and improvement, and join me possibly in that journey.

    Kudos to the other commenters who feel the same ✊

    • It’s good to feel that your work has improved for sure. I guess a lot depends on how well you can get down your preferred style, whether it’s more or less formal, longer and more in-depth (or rambling as my writing can be) or more concise. School can absolutely be a drain on writing too, I know that too well. At least when you’re just working, you can divide your working and free time more easily.

      It’s the same with fiction, now that I think of it. Before my 30s I couldn’t manage to write anything that wasn’t complete trash. Finally I can write a story that’s at least one step above that. I think part of that is figuring out how to connect with your audience effectively and in a way that satisfies you too — not an easy thing, so it makes sense that it takes some practice.

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