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How to Recover From a Bad Post

Recently a fellow blogger made an interesting comment. DM from the I also live on a farm  blog said that a longtime blogger gave him advice that was something like whether you feel a post is awful or well done, not to dwell, ponder or gloat, but move on to the next post.  It made me wonder, how do we recover from our bad posts?

Own it

While I’d like to pretend someone else wrote the things I’m not proud of, I’ve found it more effective to step up to the plate and claim them as my own. Then I can figure out why I published something that wasn’t my best effort. Sometimes it was hurry or impatience. Other times it was because it was touching something deeper that I didn’t want to look at so I just hit publish. The other category where I go wrong in my writing is when I’m too much in my head and not enough in my heart, and then I find my pieces lack vulnerability.

Feel it all the way through

No matter the cause of my disappointment, I’ve found it necessary to let the feeling resonate fully before moving on. Otherwise I find myself impatient in traffic, indifferent to the cat, and irritable with the kids. There is no end to the subterfuge my emotions will use to wreak havoc until I trace the feeling back to the source.

I frequently think I should be able to minimize this step. After all, it’s just a post. But it’s also about practicing life in a small way, so it’s emblematic of the way I roll. Something small becomes something bigger when ignored, no matter the topic.

Make meaning

When I’ve felt it all the way through, I usually am ready to make meaning out of my mess. This sometimes comes with time, and often comes with the grace of someone else’s comment on what I’ve written. Whatever it is, hindsight usually brings an ability to understand how to use this experience, along with so many others, to create an a-ha moment.

Those a-ha’s include things like new posts to talk about how to recover from bad posts, better self-awareness about what makes me impatient, or an idea to talk over what is really bothering me with a friend in addition to writing about it.

You know what? I don’t think I’m talking about posts after all. This might apply to recovering from just about anything. After all, one of my favorite quotes on the topic is “Never let your failures go to your heart or your successes go to your head.” – unknown.

How do you get over a bad _____________?

For a related post about whether or not it helps to express our frustration, see Bemoaning Our Fate on my personal blog. I also post on Mondays at the Heart of the Matter blog. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @wynneleon

(featured photo from Pexels)

62 thoughts on “How to Recover From a Bad Post

  1. I love your wisdom about feeling ‘all the way through’ lest you become mired in other muck…including indifference to the cat 😉. I’m with you. Letting it out, taking the time to consider the source. Thanks for the reminder, Wynne!

  2. I feel this, Wynne. I sometimes would panic and go back and delete things, despite feeling internally propelled to look at it from the perspective of a lesson rather than a failure. If that makes sense.

    I guess as long as we remind ourselves that growth is not linear, we will find a way to learn from the discomforts and like you say, own it.

    1. Oh, I love this reminder that growth is not linear, Claudette. It totally makes sense to look at it as a lesson rather than a failure. Thanks for adding this to my thinking!

  3. This is all great advice, and the quote really drives it home: “Never let your failures go to your heart or your successes go to your head.” In addition to everything you’ve listed, I’ve found it helpful to revisit my intention – maybe something wasn’t well-researched or well-received, but it stings less if I acknowledge I was just eager to share something I had learned or feel connected to a community via comments. If I wasn’t seeking praise, I shouldn’t be disappointed when it doesn’t arrive.

    1. Oh wow, Erin – your note that if you weren’t seeking praise, you shouldn’t be disappointed when it doesn’t arrive. Wow – that’s such an insightful observation, although at times harder for me to remember. Also, I love your process to revisit your intention. Yes!

  4. “Never let your failures go to your heart or your successes go to your head.” . . . Love that quote Wynne! Thanks.
    That 12″ distance (less if your vertically challenged 😊) between heart and head is often traversed in the wrong direction by failure and success.

      1. Ugh, I can relate. I was cross with Miss O last night and we both apologized this morning. It’s probably easier when we live under one roof. But my hearts hurts still. Hope you and your son recover soon!

  5. I knew a blogger once upon a time who had a comment quota for each of her posts. If she didn’t get the requisite number of comments within 24 hours of posting, she deleted what she wrote. I never commented on her approach, but I did think that often there’s more to be learned from analyzing mistakes than basking in the glory of successes. Maybe it’s just me, but I go with the flow when blog posts don’t land right. It’s part of the experience.

    1. Oh my. I would love to know what was motivating that thought process 🙂 I wonder if she is still blogging and why?

      1. I don’t know her reasoning, just that she talked about her process once and it struck me as… unique. I like comments but don’t base my self-worth on them. However, I think this woman did base her self-worth on them. I dunno.

    2. Wow, that’s fascinating, Ally. I’d never thought of measuring things that way. I think going with the flow as you do is a much better way. Interesting.

      1. From my point of view I thought that blogger was giving her power away to other people, but I never told her that. We all blog in our own ways, eh?

      2. Right – and if she gave it away with blogging, it might be indicative to her lifestyle overall. Whew – that would wear me out. But I love your comment to allow everyone to do it their way!

  6. Here are my thoughts- bloggers blog for many different reasons and people read blogs for many different reasons. No one is perfect so that means as the blogger sometimes we have winners and as the reader sometimes blog posts just don’t resonate. If what we write has meaning to us as the individual telling the story then I think we’ve accomplished what we set out to do, keeping in mind that not every post is meant for everyone. Is blogging a contest where we are attempting to prove something about our abilities, ourselves? The deeper question, at least for me, is what do I want to accomplish when I write and I think that’s different for everyone. If I’m happy then I’m not sure who else has the right to deem something as a “bad post”. If we deem our own post as inadequate in some way after hitting publish then we have to look at ourselves and decide why and what, or if, we need to do differently next time.

    1. I love how you break it down, Deb. For me, it’s when I know I haven’t done my work on a post that affects me and then I need to take a look. And when I deem other things in my life not to be going well – to do the same. Thanks for helping tease out my thinking!

    2. Deb, what you’re saying resonates with me. Sometimes I feel great about a post and thing it will be shared profusely, and other times I really struggle with the writing, and am not sure if it will resonate at all. Then I look at the stats and I see I’m not a good gauge of what will hit and what will miss, because I get my predictions so wrong! Sometimes weeks or even months later I get a comment from someone who needed to hear exactly what I wrote. Sometimes that happens with a post I had written off and was maybe thinking of deleting. I guess we never know who will need exactly what we write, even if it is later down the road!

      1. Tamara, I love your point that when we write what we need to write and feel that, we have to trust it’ll resonate with the right person down the road. Yes!

      2. Writing for two very different blogs keeps me aware of my writing. My personal blog will always be haphazard and entirely whatever I feel like writing about- rather anyone reads or not. But writing for The Heart of the Matter, which is a curated and very specifically focused blog means that I really do have to work to stay connected to an audience. I like having both actually- a very purposeful space and a free to be me space!

        I don’t think that I’ve ever gone back and deleted a post after it was published- with the exception of some really old, totally “I had nothing to say” “this is more like a FB comment than a post” drivel from my personal space that didn’t belong on a blog…ever!

        I’m also not a person who really follows stats. I know my core group of blogger buddies reads regularly. That’s what matters most to me, and I appreciate that you are one of those bloggers 🙂

  7. A bad post? C’mon Wynne, you’ve never had one of those! But I do love the advice. I’m my own worst critic. I find that I’m especially hard on myself on work-related things. I carry those failures with me for an inordinate long time. I need to follow this advice. But it’s so hard to let them go! Ugh, but I’m working on it. Thanks Wynne!

    1. Aww, Brian, you are kind. I’m with you, hard to let them go. Even when small, my failures can niggle at me like a bunch of piranhas! I’m working on it too.

  8. As I see it, mistakes happen, poor performance happens, who cares – it is just stuff. The world is not going to stop spinning, the sun will come up tomorrow and guess what? No one remembers so why should you. What you do about it is the important thingy. Blame others = bad, let it eat you up = bad, MEH, stuff happens, no one is perfect (not in my world) = who cares.

  9. Great post. Thank you 🙏 so many layers into it. I have been working on embracing the imperfection as perfection, but yes, it is not always easy. It is a muscle that needs to be worked on every time “ not perfect things” show up.

    1. Embracing the imperfection as perfection – what a great phrase! Yep, I have to work on that muscle too. Thanks for this great comment!

  10. I feel guilty because I didn’t try my best for whatever reasons (hurry, indifferent, don’t like what I am doing, others can look after it, …) . Beautiful post Wynne, very inspiring.

  11. I guess I’m wondering…What is a “bad” post? One that others don’t like? One that doesn’t get much response? One that I later regret?

    I feel like as long as I’m writing from an authentic space – my own perspective, then it’s not truly a bad post, regardless of how it’s received.

    1. That’s how I feel too, David. For me, it’s not about how others react – but sometimes I’ll shy away from the nut of something or offer up cute phrase instead of going deeper and know I could have created something that was more authentic.

      1. Ooh… yeah, I feel that!

        I appreciate the depth of your writing, but hey…I also want to encourage you not to shy away from the nut! I would definitely support that!!

  12. Also, this post itself was pretty superb, and I found this quote to be GOLDEN!!

    “When I’ve felt it all the way through, I usually am ready to make meaning out of my mess.”

  13. What makes a post bad?
    Lack of reads/likes?
    Not expressing yourself clearly?
    Or regretting what you said?
    For me it’s usually the second- hopefully I’ve thought things through enough to avoid the third. I love likes and reads of course, but they don’t make the writing good or bad, just popular or unpopular.
    BTW- I don’t think you’ve e ever made a bad post 🙂

    1. Oh, thank you, Todd. For the record, I don’t think you’ve made a bad post either! I’d say for me a bad post isn’t about popularity. But sometimes I’ll shy away from the depth of something or offer up trite phrase instead of going deeper and know I could have created something that was more authentic.

      1. Thanks Wynne!🙂 I hear what you’re saying about depth and phrases- sometimes I get more in the mood to be done rather than finish the job.

  14. I don’t believe in the concept of “bad posts” unless they’re untrue. Some posts are more popular than others, but that doesn’t make the less read ones “bad”. They’re just as honest and open as all the rest, for me at least.

    1. Thanks for the comment, SS&GP. I wasn’t thinking on posts that are unpopular but more the ones that I haven’t felt as good about because I haven’t been as thoughtful or thorough as I should have – and then it made me think about moving on from just about anything.

  15. Sometimes when dealing with a bad____________, the best thing to do is go to your room, close the door, and have a toddler style tantrum. Set a timer if you need to…but let the emotions out. Once that’s done, wash your face, take some space from whatever it is, and afterward you can come back to it more objectively. Most of all….give yourself some grace! “Yup, that _______ stunk to high heaven…next time I’ll do XYZ instead. 💞💞💞

    1. I really like the ideas you’ve suggested here, particularly about owning it. Whatever mistake we have made, there is learning to be gained from it. Not by dwelling on it, but by realistic and honest, and moving forward, taking the good bits with us and leaving the bad bits behind.

      Thank you for sharing. 😊

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