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The Consolations of Embarassment

August 22nd, 2008 · 2 Comments

There’s something really comforting to me about looking back at a piece I wrote four or five years ago and thinking, “God, what a clumsy piece of crap.”  If that sounds strange, consider the alternative: I feel like I used to look over stuff from a few year previous and think, “Huh, that’s as good as or better than anything I’ve done lately.”

Tags: Journalism & the Media · Language and Literature · Personal



2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Julian Elson // Aug 27, 2008 at 3:52 am

    I know exactly the feeling. The worrisome thing for me is, I feel like my abilites are deteriorating, and have been for several years. I’m twenty-four, by the way.

    I hope it’s just that I’m taking on more challenging tasks, and my absolute ptitude is increasing even if my relative aptitude is declining.

    Well, that, and there’s the fact that you can still be a better writer overall than three years ago, even if there’s one thing you wrote three years ago that you have yet to surpass. An increasing average quality might take a while to exceed a singular, aberrant spike of brilliance — unless you get such spikes regularly.

  • 2 Advice to young journalists » Spectator Blogs // Aug 7, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    […] CohenAdvice to young journalists0 Comments Alex Massie – 22 August 2008 15:05Julian Sanchez explains why you should never read your old copy. Unless you do actually crave either a) embarrassment or b) […]