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I wrote a blog post for a magazine run by scholars. A few months later, I read the post again. I hate it! I can think of three-four different ways I could have written it differently. Granted, I was asked to comment on an ongoing political issue at the time and didn’t have enough information back then. However, I could have organized it differently, omitted paragraphs, and focused on different issues. Is this normal? Do you have similar experiences? If I don’t like what I wrote four months ago, what would have established scholars thought of my piece back then?

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    I think everyone who has published stuff has articles out there that we regret. If it is technical, often we have come to understand the problem better. As you say, you didn't have all the info and wrote an opinion piece that now, with more info, you don't fully support. Sounds entirely normal to me!
    – Jon Custer
    Jul 26, 2018 at 12:52
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    I have pieces of code from 2 weeks ago that I hate and I've been programming over 10 years. It happens, take it as a lesson and move on. Jul 26, 2018 at 13:47
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    Thank you! I think now that I am rewriting chapters of my dissertation for publication, I notice my flaws in my writing better. It’s a humbling process...and a nerve-racking one!
    – Kar Masia
    Jul 26, 2018 at 13:50
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    @SolarMike lol yea you don't even want to know the number of "refactors" that have come up in this horrible project. Def a lesson on proper architecture processes. Jul 26, 2018 at 13:53
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    It's called 'publication remorse'. (Actually, it isn't, but there should be a name for it.) Jul 27, 2018 at 18:21

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Short answer : Yes

Why - because hindsight is the equivalent of 20:20 vision and writing for tomorrow is like looking through fog...

So, let it go, if there is nothing to apologise for, go and concentrate on the next one - bringing in your experience of this one...

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If it is out there, you are stuck with it. You might try to publish a better piece in the same venue, of course. But complaining about it or trying to hide it or deny it will bring you up against the Barbara Streisand effect. This will just make the thing you "hate" more visible.

In such situations, if your piece was somehow inappropriate or offensive, apologies for your past behavior is usually the best bet and can be a part of the "better piece" suggested above. But it has to be a real apology, not a nopology such as "I apologize if anyone was offended by remarks". Another classic is "I'm sorry that you were upset with me." I suspect that you understand that, of course, since you are asking this question.

Yes it is ok to hate it. It is called growth. What people think of it is up to them. You have no control over that.

I don't know what you wrote, of course, but if you write in an emotional state, such as anger, let it cool before hitting "send". Read it over. Ask about what the long term effect would be. Think. Revise as needed.

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  • Thanks! I didn’t write anything offensive. : ) But thank you for taking the time and responding. I appreciate it!
    – Kar Masia
    Jul 26, 2018 at 13:46
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    @Karin I'm glad that is the case. I've edited for clarification.
    – Buffy
    Jul 26, 2018 at 14:48

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