Post or Compost

Feb 13, 2013 | Better Blogging

It sure seemed like a good idea. But when you tried to write the blog post, it didn’t work out as well as you thought it would. If the post is “good enough” to publish you may go ahead, but you may decide that the idea is just no good.

That’s when it’s time to put the post in your compost file. In gardening, “Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment.” My compost file is filled with posts I didn’t think were ready to publish.

I wrote a post on Ernest Hemingway’s lost manuscripts that grew out of two earlier versions in my compost file. The older post was about two years old. In both of those posts, the factual material, the basic story, is the same.

Last week, I was reviewing the compost file. I do that every couple of weeks. This time, my brain connected the lost manuscript story with a conversation I had with a friend. It gave me the piece that made the post work: asking what Hemingway would have done if he hadn’t lost all his early manuscripts.

Try it. Keep a compost file with the drafts of posts that weren’t quite ready for prime time. Review the folder every couple of weeks. You may find a good post growing out of your compost file.

This is a revised version of the original post.

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