Blogging really scares the hell out of me. There's not barrier, no little safety net to fall back on in case you say something libelous wrong, misleading, or worst of all: if you say something that makes you look like an idiot. And that includes spelling mistakes.
The typewriter, in contrast, is a nice slow device, it plods along happily, and it doesn't thrust itself - or the writing it helps to produce - into other peoples' faces on the other side of the world. But blogging is bloody well instant, it is so instant that it can be scary. Not so much in the Typosphere, which I would say is the nicest online community out there, but in other places it certainly does. I really can see why quite a large number of people want to sit back, relax and go slow again.
My problem with a blog post is I write it quickly, and not very well; but I don't want to be sitting around and waiting, I don't want to "sleep on it". This is my own demise when it comes to freaking myself out with a blog. "What will people think of this?", "Will I look like a moron if I say that?", "Can I say that?", "Am I making that up?", "Do I sound pompous, up myself, obnoxious etc etc etc?". These are all questions that I ask before I press the ominous orange button marked PUBLISH. It is a commitment that is made as soon as that mouse has hovered, the finger has come down, and the computer has realised and sent it off into the land of the internet.
But what can you do when you do write something terrible? Can you remove it and pretend it wasn't there? For a typewriter this is easy - it's called a matchbox, but on the internet there are moral questions that get asked. No one would like it to end up like the world in Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the constant editing of every written record to keep with the current, preferred version of events, but is that where we could lead if everyone just removed things that made them out to be a bit dodge on their blog? It seems like the right thing to do is to leave what you write up, and to not remove it from immediate view. As soon as you start removing things gaps appear in a timeline of posts, and people can't go back and see how the blog has evolved.
I've noticed that most of the other fine blogs, which of course are much better than this one, in the Typosphere all seem to have all their posts - none seem to have been removed. Of course I don't really know because if they'd been removed I wouldn't really be able to tell, would I?
So I think I'll leave all my posts where they are. There are a few that I would like to just send into the bin, but most of the interested parties will have read them by now, so what, really, is the point of removing them? Is it self satisfaction? Is it destroying the evidence, even though there are witnesses to the crime?
Luckily, at least for me - possibly not for you - I haven't been scared right off of a blog, and will continue, as my profile says I do, to produce "a lot of really poorly written blog posts".