When I began writing in journals in middle school, I never wanted to alter anything I had written, including fiction and poetry. The only time I ever corrected something in a previous journal was if something was illegible or unclear, to the point that someday I might not know what I meant to say. When I read over my senior autobiography/scrapbook during the summer, I really wanted to fix it since the writing wasn't my best. But at the same time, I didn't want to touch it because technically, I wasn't in high school anymore, and I didn't want to alter my record of how I felt when I was in high school.
I am grateful for all my preserved records, but all those years of writing just for myself didn't give me any practice editing. The first time I really learned to edit was in fiction writing class, where I transformed some stories to the point of not touching the original documents. But in terms of my non-fiction writing, I'm learning to edit on this blog. I used to keep an online journal, which contained some private entries. My main reason for moving to a blog was to be able to share my writing without giving access to those more personal journal entries. But now that I'm writing for other people, I care more about how I sound. On the internet, any post could be the one that readers stumble upon first. I'm always editing past posts. I no longer care about preserving my state of mind on some random day - I care about sounding good right now. This blog has taught me how to write to be read.