Do You Read Your Past Posts?

Over the last half a dozen years I have written almost 1800 blog posts. That is about 300 per year and yes, almost one per day. I would hate to think how many words this translates into.

But there is more. I have also written articles for Marketing Profs, guest posted from time to time on other sites and contributed articles for publications like Marketing Magazine and for books, ebooks and so on.

I dare say I could find many others who have produced a similar amount of content. Or more. After all, there are many people far more prolific than I.

But whether you write one article a day or one article a month, I'm wondering – do you re-read your writings?

I know I do – but perhaps not as much as I should.

I am reading Steven Johnson's Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, and I have been struck by the linkages between writing, review and breakthrough ideas. He uses the example of the "common place book" – a book of ideas, cross-referenced by the author to improve memory. Interestingly, Johnson explains how Charles Darwin's theories benefited from this process, allowing him to formulate, refine and build upon ideas over time. This is what Johnson calls the “slow hunch”.

Now, it seems that blogs with their readily available tagging structure and inbuilt search functions are like commonplace books on steroids. But who amongst us use them in this way? How many of us revisit a category area each time we sit down to write our next post?

Not me. But then, I think i'll change this approach. I have a hunch that I am going to unearth some valuable slow hunches in the process.

5 thoughts on “Do You Read Your Past Posts?

  1. I reread old posts for lots of reasons. I’m embarrassed to admit it but often it’s because I can’t remember something and I want to check. Even if the specific answer isn’t there, sometimes reading the post will remind me and allow me to recall that time and the details I’m after.
    I am going to try your idea though!

  2. I always read old posts Gavin. I like looking back at what I’ve blogged about. I’m also going to be using your idea! Thanks for all the great posts.

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