On a recently bus ride home, I was thinking about the Pay It Forward post, and I realized that I left out a very important piece of information! I got the keys back… how? The phrase “thanks to a membership card” came up. I knew I needed to add that phrase to make it more complete. There’s just one problem. It was done, complete, and published. I edited anyways, which got me thinking: when should we edit old posts?
Let’s start with some behind the scenes context.
I built the Better Zombie format with a very clear intention: less is more. The format is an introduction between 50 to 80 words, the picture, with the rest of the post after “the jump.” During my first post, Twenty-Five Cent Screwdrivers, I realized I must not go over 500 words. I wasn’t using my words effectively. Same with most. I may go with 100, 200, 300, or 400 words. Mainly it’s 500. Maybe I’ll build up to 1000 or 2000 word posts.
That strict 500 word limit might seem suffocating. It’s mostly not.
It forces me to “bring my best 500 words.” Reduce the junk. Two of my favorite posts – the culminating 2016 Albums as I Heard Them and the anti-conventional Izetta: The Last Witch – challenged me to best use those 500 words. I’ll start by formulating how many words I can dedicate for each item including the introduction and concluding thoughts. 26 words, including the episode titles, for Izetta. Sometimes 12 words. When the format is too constricting, such as with the second photo in the Lordi post or my 10 word Ten Day Combo post, I’ll include the C-C-Combo Breaker category to really point out that it’s breaking format. This format also lends itself to intricate word choice. You have to bring your best.
When, then, should you go back for post repairs?
Typically just typos. I’ve found maybe three or four typos days or weeks after publishing a post, and while embarrassing, that’s just a thing that happens. I’m excited to click Publish that I don’t calmly read once more. It’s understandable enough since the team right now is just myself and the occasional casual editor Collector.
Otherwise, I won’t edit the past because re-writing is so tempting.
I wrote most of this post before seeing Anti-Flag and Reel Big Fish. My first concert review was for their acoustic show about six months ago and I remember having difficulty writing to 200 words. I didn’t want to cover the political rally. I’d now be more comfortable writing my thoughts on the event. My main blocks were that I didn’t care for most of the performers and the speeches were very heavy-handed. As much as I might have, in years past, been tempted to go back and write more about the show, I won’t, because each are nice time capsules.
Since this is the 50th post on Better Zombie, I’ll end by saying I have plans to expand out this site into some sort of business.
Want to bring your best 500 words?
Or contribute other skills?