Self Editing

I’ve mulled over the idea of doing a vlog series. I’ve always frowned on vloggers because I’ve watched many that don’t seem to produce anything that could be called “content.” Lots of opinion and self concerned monologue, but nothing beyond numb entertainment.

As an experiment I tried recording myself and did some editing. As I have been told, it is a disillusioning experience. You notice things about yourself that others surely must have been noticing for years. You feel like a bit of an idiot.

Over the course of my academic career I never edited a single paper. I didn’t have the time. I was so busy that all I could do was write a legible draft of whatever assignment I needed to do, hand it in at the last second, and hope for the best. Recently I’ve had time to read over some old work and it is embarrassing.

I’m beginning to understand how this works as a self-improvement exercise. When you edit you become aware of all your mistakes. Perhaps in time you learn to anticipate when those mistakes will happen and you avoid them. Another strange thing is that you become much more conscious of yourself as a human being in the third person. You stop being exempt from the rules by which you evaluate others and you furthermore become aware of what those rules are.

It’s definitely a valuable experience but it’s also very embarrassing, perhaps more so than being critiqued by another.

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