Almost a year ago (!!), I wrote a post about not being afraid of your past writing. We’ve all had that cringe-y feeling when we think about reading something we previously wrote. We’re afraid it will be poorly written or not as meaningful as we originally felt it to be. So we avoid, we ignore, we move forward.
But I think that’s a mistake for two reasons.
First, your past content is a reminder of where you’ve been and what’s important to you. It holds valuable clues about how you’ve evolved and where you might be headed next—clues to your business, your ideas, and your core message that are often made clear only when seen from afar (once some time has passed) and in bulk (by reading much of your writing at once).
And second, you can learn a lot from yourself! Or, perhaps more accurately, you can be reminded of lessons you once learned but that you may have lost sight of. No matter how firmly you believe something, your attention can wander from time to time.
Recently, the wonderful Lindsay McGuire shared a post I wrote a few months ago about how to handle distractions. When I hopped over to thank her, I decided to read my post again, and I was reminded of something important I had been neglecting to do lately! Reading my old post helped me find focus that very day—focus I wouldn’t have had if she hadn’t reminded me of my own words.
So today, I encourage you to set aside a little time and read back through your past content. Look for reminders and lessons you need to learn, but also look for repeated themes and ideas. Jot those down, and then sort through them. You just might find some valuable clues!