To Delete, or Not to Delete?

Social Media Management

Last year, I made the mistake of revisiting a lot of my old handwrittenย  journals. I have a whole stack of them – thick notebooks mainly purchased from Paperchase that have been filled with my random scribblings over the years – and in my infinite wisdom I thought it might be a nice idea to open some of them up again and read about who I was at that moment in time. It turned out to be a huge mistake – I became very quickly aware that I was an extremely bitter person and what I found were pages and pages of rambling, nonsensical anger. I decided that, while I wasn’t going to throw the notebooks away, I wouldn’t read them again.

You’d think that I’d have learned from previous experience, but in an attempt to try and give the blog a bit of an overhaul, I have spent a large amount of time going through my old blog posts… all 850 of them. Suzie Speaks hits it’s four year anniversary next month (four years!!!) and I wanted to take a trip down memory lane and update some of the more popular ones for sharing on Pinterest.

What I discovered that, of the 850 posts that are currently sitting on the blog, there’s only 50 of them that 1. I actually like, and 2. are reasonably well-written. That means that, in nearly four years of regular posting, there’s only about 6% of it that I deem to be any good.

Six. Whole. Percent. I felt exactly the same way as I did when I reopened those journals… bitterly disappointed. Normally, I don’t suffer from blog envy or have any major concerns in the way I see lots of bloggers and writers do, but today I’m seriously considering changing the name to ‘Suzie Speaks Nonsense.’

I am aware why this has happened. My writing style has developed and improved, my mindset has changed and my life is now very different to how it was all those years ago. Consequently, this now leaves me in a bit of a dilemma. I want to delete a large amount of those posts as I don’t feel that they are of any use, and aren’t part of what I perceive Suzie Speaks to be. However, some of them bring in views via search engines regularly… I’d love to just open another blog and post all of the articles from here that I like, but I can barely keep up with one blog as it is…

Any ideas? Do you delete old posts, or do you revamp them for later use instead?

114 thoughts on “To Delete, or Not to Delete?

  1. You could archive them by hitting the ‘publish privately’ button if you don’t want to delete them. They may serve as inspiration for new posts at some point. I tend to leave them out there unless I revisit older posts.

  2. If I was you I would take them off the blog. File them as drafts so you don’t lose them completely, and then you can rework ones you want to as you see fit. I did that with many of my poems when I published my book ๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. I have so few posts on my blog despite having started mine almost the same time you began yours. If I delete 94% of my posts, it’s gonna be one empty blog site. But that’s just my blog, not yours.

    Besides the fact that readers are still drawn to your older posts, a good reason to leave them up is to respect the contributions of your commenters to all those posts. Thousands of people wrote in animated and heartfelt response to the emotions, experiences, and memories you woke in them.

    Plus, you’re allowed to grow up and to still have been the child you were four years ago. That will remain true when you are 68 years old and still trying to figure it out – as I am.

  4. I wouldn’t delete – especially if you are bringing in views that way. You may want to revise. It’s always easier to advise than do! I should probably re-write my first 4 novels as well. I’m just going to close my eyes and pretend no one can see me.

    Happy almost four year anniversary!

  5. I’d say delete the ones that have no hope and revamp the ones you see potential in

  6. Oh my! I can totally relate to this – blog posts and journals! I wouldn’t delete your posts as they show just how much you’ve evolved and your readers have taken that journey with you. I hate my earlier posts but if I ever get the time (or inclination) I would like to tweak (and edit!!) them.

  7. I’m kind of in the same position. I’ve been on my blog for half the time you have and I only have around 130 posts, but I sometimes feel the need to go back and edit. Mostly for stylistic reasons, but also some content, and I really don’t know if I should leave the posts to show growth or not…

  8. I have had the same experience with my old diaries…many of which I did dump…and also with my blog. But for me seeing my awful posts from when I started blogging just highlighted how much I had learned. I can really see the progress in my writing from over wordy rambling rubbish to shorter more concise posts (which may still be rubbish…I hope!I actually love looking at old posts and cutting them down). What I have decided to do, after asking my followers-many (but not all) who said they like to re-read my old posts-do, what I want to do which is edit old posts and re-post them every second Saturday (I’ve ended up posting more new ones really). If they don’t need a radical re-edit I hesitate to re-post. I also take into consideration the people that read the awful, long rambly posts and liked them or saw the good in them and remember that we can be overly self critical…ANYWAY (she said after a long rambly comment) I always love your posts, they are always practical and useful and easy to read.

  9. Oh, I know exactly what you mean here Suzie.My blog has changed nearly beyond recognition, and I was even going to change the name of it but decided against it. After all, that is what got me all the followers and support that I have now.
    I started up another blog with just my name as an ‘author’ site; couldn’t decide what to put on it though so I am now in a kind of limbo between them!
    You have a much trickier problem though as your previous posts are still bringing you lots of traffic.
    I don’t think that anyone who follows your blog will consider you in any way as being bitter but if you are not happy with the posts then maybe you could just keep them as ‘private’ before you decide to delete them for good.

  10. The oldest Suzie Speaks I have in my archives is dated 31/;08/15. However my older computer is in another room and I’m sure if I set it up I could probably go back further. I have kept a Filofax Diary for many years but once the Filofax is finished for the year and I start a new year, I very rarely go back and read previous entries unless it is to check on something, or if Annabell wants me to verify something for her – did we do this and when. Generally I find going back to read old stuff is not rewarding. It’s like a verse from “The Streets of London” Yesterday’s paper telling yesterday’s news”

  11. I’m of the opposite opinion. I would leave them as they are. They were who you were at the time. That’s okay. The old journals are nothing to be embarrassed about either. Writing is very cathartic. You had anger you needed to release at that time so you did so in your private journals. Nothing wrong with that and it’s certainly preferable to unleashing the anger on another person. I think it’s nice to see how you’ve grown and developed. I don’t often go back through my old posts. I’m not ashamed of them. I may not love them all, but they are what they are. I have gone back through drafts of novels I’ve created and tried to rewrite them, and it feels like I’ve spoiled them somehow by messing around with them. I certainly haven’t improved them or even finished them in their altered states.

  12. Suzie, this is such encouraging news for me! I barely have 50 posts under my belt, and the vast majority of my earlier posts are probably best suited for the virtual trash can. I know I have a long way to go, but it’s reassuring to know that even successful veterans such as yourself don’t always find the mark you’d like.

  13. I’m not sure I have any advice to offer you Suzie but I see that the posts serve a purpose, they reflect a part of who you were at the time although you have since changed in many ways. Some of the suggestions are good and well worth following up but ultimately it’s your choice what to do with these older posts. If they really upset you get rid of them or maybe revamp them as you have the time. I have deleted a few early posts but they were real shockers! A new blog would mean lots of extra work for you ๐Ÿ™‚ Your posts are always interesting ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for everything you do for us!!

  14. I’d love to delete quite a few of mine (I’m on Blogger) but I wonder whether it will create broken links somewhere along the line or bugger up my DA somehow. Some of my earlier posts were crap.

  15. LOL! You know I don’t delete blog posts. Now if you re-read your journals and didn’t throw them away, why would you throw away blog posts. They too are representative of who you were at the time. You can certainly revamp and rewrite them later. Even if the writing or format isn’t as good as your more recent work, the ideas may have been brilliant and worth revisiting from the perspective you have now.

  16. Delete them, unless people are still leaving comments on them. Nothing like a good clear out and, like decluttering our homes, it makes you feel good. ๐Ÿ˜€
    I’ve deleted over 100 posts, mainly because I was not 100% certain if some of the images I had used on them were free to use. I felt like I’d done a full spring clean on my blog, and it felt so good. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  17. Blogging is such a journey. It’s kind of like journalling and we definitely change over the years. Personally I wouldn’t edit or delete. I’d just move forward.

  18. I know I’m a complete embryo when it comes to blogging and having old posts but I write real crap back when I first started. I mean seriously what was I thinking? However that aside, it was my very first experience. And I can learn from it. I think I have improved lots although a way still to go. So, I hid mine from view. Still there, and I doubt I shall revamp them but they are a memory of an accomplishment, regardless of content. Happy nearly 4 years ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

  19. Hi Suzie! I would keep them and revamp later. My reasoning is this. There was a part of my life at one time that was one I would not ever want to relive and yet since I am writing an autobiography IT WAS a part of my life. It changed me but in a good way. I have already been working on those chapters but am not ready to post them yet until I have talked to those that might become offensive(family members).

      • I spoke with my daughter who is the offspring of the relationship. She never got to know her father. I explained to her that those chapters could be difficult to read. She responded with “go for it! I have always wanted to know what my real father was like”
        . I see his adopted mother ocassionaly when by coincidence we run into one another,but, she doesn’t really associate herself with me or her granddaughter much any more. I would only be writing what happened to me.

      • That’s such an amazing story! I never met my fathers family or my grandfathers family, but I discovered that my grandfather was adopted and traced his family history – I found his biological mum, and it turns out that she is buried only a few plots away from him in the same cemetery!

  20. I don’t think I would delete them, but if you can use them to create new content, by either rewriting to the new standard that you hold or maybe doing a then and now comparison on your thoughts on the subject… just deleting them seems like you are getting rid of quite a bit of your own history.

  21. There is something about the past making you the person you are today. With that, I think I would keep them, because if nothing else it shows that you have grown as a person

  22. I never delete old posts, not even the ones I dislike. Why? Because I wrote them, I published them, and I don’t think I need to be ashamed of them. They also reflect the progress I made as a person and as a writer, so even if some posts are toe crunchingly awful, they are a part of my blog’s history and they’ve earned their right to exist.

    You’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. It’s just a part of your writing adventure, and as with everything in life we have bad and good experiences. I wouldn’t delete them either. They’re a part of Suzie Speaks and even if you think they’re nonsense, they got you here.

  23. I delete the ones that are bad or just not relevant any more even if they still have some views from it. It’s a judgement call. Lots of other ones I go back to and update, check links, do a bit of tidying up etc but not spend too much time on it. Others that I really enjoyed writing and are popular I really go to town on them and even republish them . The recent post I published about “being good at what you do” was an old one that I re-did putting into it all the stuff I have learned about writing and blogging over the past few years and it’s given it a whole new lease of life and doubled the amount of views.

  24. I just recently began to delete a several old posts and in a few rare instances, revamped them entirely.
    Some would argue that your old work is a reflection of your evolution as a writer and human being, Suzie, but to each his own, I say!

  25. Personally I’d leave them, they’re a true reflection of who you were and where you were at when you wrote them. They’re all the steps that got you to where you are.

  26. Well done on acknowledging your growth and facing it. I wouldn’t delete posts that are bringing in readers. They probably aren’t as bad as you think either. We can be our own worst critics! Revamp the ones that have the most potential, take down any that you feel strongly shouldn’t be up there. That’s what I’d do.

  27. Well. I’d say that 6% good is a really good number (!) It means that you are honest with yourself, and discriminating about your work. I’ve only been writing my pieces since late 2014 (‘only’! I guess that’s quite a while!) but I hold myself to one a week, so I don’t have nearly as many to plow through. I’ve been trying to keep hard copies as a digital record of each one, since I have plans to turn them into a book. If I can work up the energy — and the courage!

  28. I’ve deleted a couple of odd posts from the beginning that really couldn’t be saved and others I have revamped. When I started my blog, I wasn’t sure what direction I was going in so it was all over the place.

  29. Suzie, no matter how dumb or awful I think an old post may be, I never delete it. Those posts are a reminder to practice better writing skills. They are also a reminder that I’ve made progress in that area. You don’t have thousands of followers because your former posts weren’t good or positive or A+. We came because we enjoyed your writing and interaction. You can archive them if you’d like, but I would not delete.

  30. I just let them rest there in the Archives so they can be dusted off by new visitors to the blog. I’m always excited when old posts show up in my top 10 for the day, and sometimes I’m curious what caused people to go read them again. I like looking back at the progress I’ve made as a blogger. Isn’t it fun?

  31. I’ve done the same things with old posts on Face Book because I’m not much of a blogger, Reading them made me realize how much I have changed over the years. It’s a good change I’m not who I once was I deal with life a lot differently than I did years ago. Years ago I was angry pissed off at the world I was on a downward spiral It didn’t take much to set me off drugs and alcohol started to become and everyday thing to cope with my shitty depressing life.

    Some of the posts have been deleted most of them I kept because they are a reminder that I have changed life has gotten better though it may not seem that way because of the depression and anxiety.

      • Yeah I’ve been deleting a lot of those old memories that pop up. I find myself writing out paragraphs reading it then just deleting it not posting anything. Hoping this blog thing will help with that but even with the blog I’ve found myself writing and just deleting it….

  32. You probably already have your answer by now. However, I will just share briefly that in my opinion it’s okay to delete any old posts you no longer feel proud of or enjoy. I know the term “serve” might sound cheesy, but if something doesn’t serve us anymore (maybe “suit” is a better word?) we should let it go. Think about it like clothes or shoes that you use to wear and now you can’t imagine wearing them. Let them go. Just my thoughts.

  33. Ouch. This is a tough call. I mean…I get what you’re saying but… I wouldn’t delete them. Not for good. If you must, keep them somewhere (in draft form or on your hard drive). I’m sorry you’re feeling this way but, really, you’re going to grow and change, right? “My writing style has developed and improved…” That’s good. “my life is now very different to how it was all those years ago.” Of course it is. Now decide if it’s something you can look back on as the way it was or something that really bothers you. (Either way, keep it for you.) โค

  34. Don’t delete them forever. Keep them either online or some other way. You will be glad you did. Sometimes in just 4 years we are still to near the pain to see the gain.

  35. This post reminds me of a quote by the wonderful Dr Maya Angelou

    “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

    You can see your growth ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒธโœจโ˜บ๏ธ

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