User:AxelBoldt/An article is a collection of revisions

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After you have written or substantially rewritten a number of Wikipedia articles, it's natural to add these articles to your watchlist and keep checking all future changes. The more articles you watch, the more your editing behavior turns from productive to defensive, which is no fun. Personally I reached a point where I dreaded checking my watchlist Monday morning after having taken a weekend off, because I knew it would take several hours of dealing with crap before I could go on to the writing I wanted to do that day. I believe many productive editors reach a burnout stage at that point; here's how I avoided it.

The key is to let go, to junk the watchlist, and to realize that you are not responsible for the current revision of every article you ever edited. You are responsible only for the last revision you edited, and people will always be able to find that revision in the history, so you've done your job. It's essential to avoid equating an article with its current revision: in truth, an article is a collection of revisions. By editing you contribute to that collection; later edits cannot take away from that, and there's nothing to "defend".

This approach of "article-as-collection-of-revisions" has several consequences. One should not (and cannot) assume that the current revision of an article is always the best one. When I want to learn about a new topic, I read the current revision of the relevant article, then I go to the article's history and check if there's a better revision to be found. When I want to add some information to an article, I first go the article's history and pick the best revision I can find, then add the information to that revision. And every once in a while I revisit old favorite articles of mine that I contributed to in the past, and check for the best revision since my last edit.