The nine stages of accidentally publishing an article

It ignites terror in every blogger world-wide. That moment when you accidentally hit Publish instead of Save Draft or when you schedule an unedited blog post for the distant future, only to completely forget about it.

SPOILER ALERT for any of you living under a pebble who have yet to watch Game of Thrones season 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6.

So here are the nine stages…

1. You hear a little ‘ping’ on your phone notifying you that your scheduled post has been successfully published.



2. But the full magnitude of your predicament doesn’t dawn on you straight away. Instead, you see another notification happily informing you that a grand total of nine people have liked your post. You are super chilled about getting likes – as always.

wow cat


3. But then, the Jon-Snow-just-died horror sets in. It’s a devastation unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. An article has gone live on your blog and you hadn’t even finished it.



4. And even worse, it’s full of embarrassing stuff that you would never, ever let anyone read. Little notes saying: ‘this sounds stupid’, ‘fix this part ASAP’ and ‘why does spell check say this isn’t a word? I’m sure it’s a word. OMG but says thatunpublish’ really isn’t a word. Like, since when?’

sad cat


5. Sadly, there are no Lonely Planet guide books or Bear Grylls’ survival instructions to help you prepare for this mother-of-all-bombs. It’s like Ned Stark has died all over again. And you’re pretty sure there’s no way he can come back from that.



6. Before you head for your isolated cabin in the woods, you do a little google search and realise you aren’t the only idiot in the world who’s done this. There’s Roxical Thinking’s short retraction, Wales Online’s predictive blunder, Codewryter’s inside info about a super awesome preventative Plugin, and Dr. Jon P. Heins relatable experience that leaves you feeling sickly satisfied that you’re not the only one. Yes! Exclusive club!



7. So you sit back and think, well only nine people have liked it right? But then a strange thought occurs to you. Hang on… how many people have viewed it so far? You quickly check out your stats page. AND OH MY GOD. It’s way more than nine. WAY MORE #imabail



8. You finally pull your post, but by that time at least 50 people have viewed it and you’re wondering why the f— you didn’t do that earlier. You’d rather be a Lannister than experience all this humiliation.

embarrassed cat.gif

(I HAVE to do this to my cat)


9. While you’re sewing your golden lion onto an old school red jumper, another notification pings. But this one is different. Very different. Someone called HARLOW HAYES has just followed you. Thank you HARLOW. I love you HARLOW. It feels just like the day when Jon Snow came back to life.

idea cat


P.s. HARLOW HAYES is the most recent person to follow my blog, someone did follow me when I accidentally published my article, but I can’t remember who it was. The offending article in question was called ‘9 indie author blogs you should be following’ – argh no capitals and it only got 2 likes before I took it down (and no I haven’t published it for real yet – decided to write this article instead to share all the horror and devastation I felt). Kudos to David Prosser at barsetshirediaries and Writergurlny for their unending kindness.




And also big thank you to lorraineamers, Eve Messenger, Oladatter, Riya Solanki and John Davis Frain for the lovely comments and likes they left (on different articles) that partially shielded my ego during this terrible episode in my life (actually, it’s happened to me three times, but let’s not go into that right now…)


Gifs sourced from: &

87 thoughts

  1. Bahahaha this JUST happened to me a couple weeks ago. Awful. And then what do you do? Send an apology? Post the final version and pretend like nothing happened? Argh. Hilarious post – thanks for sharing!


  2. I usually write my posts on Microsoft Word, then when I’m done publishing it onto my WordPress blog. That way, if something happens to my blog post on WordPress, I don’t have to worry about writing it all over again because it’ll already be written and is stored somewhere safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perfect post! It accurately describes the feeling of accidentally publishing something. We’ll be sharing this with the rest of our followers so they can have a laugh!


  4. You, your cats, and your blog seem utterly charming. I’m sure your writing will brighten my day as I continue on this journey called life. Glad to be here.


  5. Good post, the comments are enlightening and have made me reconsider how I do my posts! Thanks for the follow too. Nice cats! My boofaloof is sitting beside me as I type this, claws in my elbow, demanding pats.


  6. 10. Then you must delete the links to the unfinished blog post that are automatically uploaded to Twitter and Facebook. I had to do that this week. You’re not alone. 🙂 [Thanks for visiting my blog.]


  7. I admit that it is really embarrassing, and well I haven’t really touched the scheduled feature until now(I didn’t even realize that it was there).


  8. You’re very talented and funny, Millie 🙂 I enjoyed reading that quite a bit. I’m brand new here and wondering if my comment feed is broken…as I haven’t received any yet. But perhaps this is normal, or my stuff is that bad! Anyways, I’m definitely following and looking forward to all that you do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! ☺ Oh yes you are very new!! Welcome to WordPress, you’ll love it here ☺ your stuff isn’t bad! You’ll start to get comments soon, just takes a while when you first start. In my first ever blog post I wrote about other bloggers and linked to their sites – not realising they’d get notified when I did, so I got a few comments from that! Which was awesome for me being so new & bright eyes and bushy tailed lol. Hopefully my comment goes through on your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yeah, that’s pretty normal. The first comment I received on my regularly-posted-to blog came after a year and it was when I mentioned that my cat had died. It seemed to break the ice though, and comments do come through occasionally now. Some people are better at attracting comments than others. I’ve noticed the posts that seem to ask for some sort of response or else have some kind of ‘I can relate to that’ material in them seem to attract the comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ha, I didn’t understand half of this because, while I don’t live under a rock (in the matter of some things), I don’t watch Game of Thrones, but I have felt the horror of publishing a not-ready-to-be-published post. I think I did it two, maybe three times. Each time, I just sat red-faced and sweating as I corrected it. I remember for at least one of those times I was in such a hurry to “fix” it, that I ended up having to “fix” it/update it a few times. I asked my hubby who subscribes to my blog, if he got an e-mail each time I updated. He said no, which was good and bad. That meant the people who got the e-mail on the original publish never saw any of the corrections, yet, that meant the people who got the e-mail on the original publish never saw the multiple corrections.

    Also, which probably makes a world of difference, I don’t get many readers. Ha. Yeah, I am sure that makes a BIG difference. 🙂

    Thanks for letting me know that I am not the only one who has prematurely published.


  10. I think one of the likes was me. I do that sort of thing myself and, in a way, I sort of like the spontaneous ‘errors’ so I can see the construction of the writing. When I was teaching essay composition at uni, I went to great lengths to ask students to please let me know if they thought there may be another word they could use; to let me know if they thought I could help with rephrasing – and so on and so forth! It made for more interesting essays for me to assess.
    On ‘republish’ English is an ever-developing language so why not?


  11. Ha ha, aww! Yeah, I got the notification when that happened and was like, “sweet! This sounds like a good read!” only to quickly realize something must have gone wrote. But I’ve gotta say, you’ve handled it perfectly (purrfectly?)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I accidentally hit publish yesterday and then realized I had no title to my post. Who the hell does that? Even though I am an incessant editor of my work, and I do it as I go, I can always find errors at the last moment, or in the 5th, 6th, 7th read. It makes me way too paranoid to schedule posts. I’ve been mortified at posting comments that have grammatical errors. I think, well there goes my whole reputation.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I remember getting the email notification that you’d posted that accidental post – I started reading it, then got distracted and thought, “I’ll come back and finish reading it later.” Of course, later when I went back, it was gone. I always wondered what had happened so this feels like coming full circle. Of course, you’ve done what all good writers do and that’s make another piece of writing out of it. Well done to you (and the cats). Great writing, as always. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Ha ha…I’ve experienced this one – had a lot of diff paras which I had fogotten to delete…was work in progress and yes, I was totally paranoid😊


  15. Bahahaha! Millie honey you cracked me up! I haven’t had the displeasure of doing this (didn’t know you could schedule posts to publish in the far future *hangs head in shame* ) but I’ve done similar things. It reminds me of the whole Wrong Text Message To The Wrong Person disaster. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I really do hope this NEVER EVER happens to you! My best piece of advice is to never schedule posts ahead – I’ve been doing this for years now instead of saving drafts, I’m not sure why! That and also take advantage of Codewryter’s plugin so you don’t fall into the second trap – hitting publish instead of save draft! 🙂
      OMG I’ve done the Wrong text message thing so many times! The worst one was when I sent a photo of this guy I liked to my sister, but accidentally sent the photo to my mum!! Luckily it was a group photo and my mum just replied “Beautiful Millie xx” Phew, dodged that one

      Liked by 1 person

  16. The struggle is real! So glad to see this hasn’t just happened to me. Luckily, I don’t have a big audience to witness any such mistakes on my blog yet – and that’s about the only time that’s a consolation!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I always start editing furiously and pressing update every couple of minutes until I feel it’s somewhat decent. Maybe write an update at the top of the post saying, Beware: This Is Unedited Trash That I Accidentally Published or This Is A Behind The Scenes of the Writing Process and What Everyone Should Be Doing. You know, like a writing class… I’m trying here.


      1. To avoid feed reader problems, In your WordPress Settings go to Reading Settings, then Syndication: Feeds show the most recent (?) feeds. Select low number for “?”. That moves the post off the reader in a short period of time. Then: For each article in a feed show: Choice is Summary or Full text. Select “Summary”. Your “bad” post won’t show more than about 4 lines. It also forces readers to visit your blog page and not just read your full post in a reader. My work is done.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thank you Greg! I’m passing this info on to another blogger – she marked a post as private, so on the website it said you couldn’t see it, but I subscribe to her blog and it came right to my inbox just the way she wrote it. Ack! (To paraphrase.) Good to know this is how it works!

          Liked by 1 person

  17. I bet there isn’t a blogger out here ( except me of course) who hasn’t done this at one time or another. Not that they’d all own up to it ( except me of course). We just have to apologise for the pratfall and get on with the next blog
    ( except me of course. I just sit in a corner and hope n-one notices me, or I would if I’d done it).
    Massive Hugs Millie and a million thanks for the kind

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah it’s davidprosser! The magical guy who liked my unedited post! I had no idea what ‘Pratfall’ meant (and I call myself a writer) – but it perfectly describes the situation hahaha. I’m seriously wondering how many people read this article, shuddered in sympathy, and then quickly moved on! hahahaha. Thanks again David 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay thanks Cheila!! I ‘m starting to get this idea that I’m not terribly funny at all in person, but only in this blog. I’m the type of loser who wouldn’t say anything remotely funny in real life, but then would fall over their feet walking up the stairs and make everyone laugh. Murphy’s Law follows me around like a dog – no kidding. In my family this catch phrase can be heard everywhere I go: ‘it had to happen to you Millie, didn’t it?’

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear lord. Kill me now! I didn’t know this! I suppose the only way to prevent the humiliation would be to delete the content and save the post so it’s blank? I can’t believe this happened to you too! hahaha, I’m so glad I’m clearly not the only one

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It happened more than once if that makes you feel any better. One was a guest post.

        I put it in Draft until I’m ready to post it. But those getting it in email would still get it unless they went to your site to read it. No need to delete but you could. The blue publish button needs to be lower on the page.


  18. Haha! Love this!

    I’ve had a couple of posts where I posted them, went to work, and thought “Shoot! I really don’t like how I did that part. I’ll change it when I get home. Hopefully, no one’s noticed it yet.” 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha I’m glad I’m not the only one! Even after I’ve posted them, I’m always thinking… ‘but I could change this’ or ‘oh god that sounds really stupid’ and ‘oh dear lord sometimes spell check doesn’t pick up everything’… O_o

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Sorry but I am so cracking up at this. I read your 9 Indie author blogs and immediately followed all of them so lotsa good came from that post. This one too! And now forgive me if this is inappropriate but I thought you would really like this, given our mutual infatuation with cats and writing. I just got two new kittens!
    Making Memes Magically Manifest Magnificent Masses! | Once Upon Your Prime

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You remember the article! I didn’t think anyone would. Oh the embarrassment, though I’m happy to hear at least some of the links were working 🙂 YOUR KITTENS ARE ADORABLE! Like seriously KITTENS. Oh I’m so jealous.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. #4 made me laugh out loud! And these gifs are perfection! Thank you for sharing. . . this is also my nightmare. Good to know I can survive it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! Yes you can survive it, I think! #4 was particularly hard to get through, especially as my article was not just unedited, it was pretty much only half a draft! I think I only had about 4-5 indie authors listed… and I genuinely thought ‘unpublish’ was a word, and I still don’t get why it isn’t hahaha. When I googled I found this:

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lewis Carrol was famous for inventing words and just having fun with the language. I reckon if people get what you mean then it’s fine to use it. Blogs are a bit like conversation and we never censor ourselves on our word usage there. I think people get that. Language evolves through people creatively using it. Just have a look at the etymology of any word in the Oxford English Dictionary… fascinating. It has to start somewhere.


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