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I have perfectionism anxiety about my creature design and world building, which sometimes come in attacks that compel me to ask a question on here that was dumb or obvious to me later. At least three are iterations of my hyperfixation character asking if it looks physiologically sound. These are embarrassing to me and make my social anxiety with using this site worse.

A few other questions are based on me misunderstanding some concept making my question unanswerable. With at least one I made a mistake which resulted in me asking the question wrong, which I can't edit enough to fix because it would invalidate the answer I got before I realized my mistake (I'd like to rewrite that one entirely as well but it might be deemed too similar if I try with a new post).

Is there anything I can do to get rid of these old questions I have issues with?

Links to previous iterations of my beloved: Is this creature's proportional head size feasible? How to support a large head on a horizontally attached neck Are this creature's proportions realistic? Glad to see how far I've come. Still kind of miss the wide salamander face; A good mix of cute and creepy, but the hyena inspired skull makes more sense now.

Okay I've looked back on some others and they weren't as bad as I remembered.

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  • $\begingroup$ You can always use the sandbox to get feedback before asking questions on the main site. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Aug 1 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings Good to know now, but what do I do with this old junk? $\endgroup$ Aug 1 at 21:00
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    $\begingroup$ It might be a good idea to edit your question to more clearly ask about what to do with old questions you have issues with then. Don't worry about invalidating answers on Meta. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Aug 1 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ Links to problematic queries would also be good! $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Aug 4 at 4:08
  • $\begingroup$ Happy to hear/read that they're not as bad as you remembered. And indeed, none closed, and all positive only votes with at least +5. It's pretty nice in my book :). $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Aug 4 at 23:29

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Anxiety & Perfectionism are perfectly understandable conditions in the worldbuilder. If you think you've got it bad, just imagine how anxious all your respondents are to give you the best answers they can! Loads of research, time spent poring over your questions, time spent making illustrations, multiple edits. I dare say there are respondents here who work far harder on their job than their querents!

That said, we can't delete queries once they have answers. That's because you're no longer the sole owner of the enterprise! You've now got a partner (or several) and it's their work that is being showcased.

Also, in looking at the ten or so questions you've got here in WB (at least one of which I answered), I see no queries that are negatively received, none are closed and downvotes are few.

What to Do:


Obviously, deleting the queries is out of the question. They all have answers and that's what's important here.

Other partial solutions that present themselves are:

  • Revise what you think is a problematic question as best you can keeping in mind that you can't invalidate an answer. All this means is making some clarifying edits --- make your point & your question clearer rather than change.
  • Take what you've learned and ask new queries. Build upon the work you've already got and focus your questions better.
  • You might also consider engaging in some self-help or therapy in order to work on overcoming the excess anxiety and perfectionism. I certainly get where you're coming from with both of these problems. Stressing yourself out over a very short and ultimately inconsequential piece of writing isn't healthy. Save that for your major texts!
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Stack Exchange, and by extension every other site on the network was designed to be a repository for high quality answers. Once a question has at least one answer, it is no-longer able to be deleted by the OP.

We don't want to discourage answerers by the possibility of their hard work getting removed or invalidated. There isn't a mechanism to delete or remove old questions that you do not like.

I strongly suggest not worrying about it. Unless you're actively being disruptive (which you aren't) no-one cares about the occasional closed, or poorly received question. In fact even if not worded the best someone could come along later and still benefit from the answers your questions have gathered.

If you want to ask a similar question to one you've already asked, you need make it clear, that your question is not a duplicate. It is insufficient to tell us that your question is not a duplicate. You must actually write a question that is not a duplicate. This could be an excellent use for the sandbox. We can help you workshop your question so that it gets you the information you're looking for.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sure wish I'd known about the sandbox earlier. The perfectionism issue refers to my brain and its ideas and my wanting to make sure everything works, not a site issue. So can I get rid of some old things so I can replace them with better thought out versions? $\endgroup$ Aug 1 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ Is it cool to add another iteration of my hyperfixation character design review since I've I'm improved in my knowledge of what I'm doing with it or would that be too much? I must know if he is excellently viable enough for my brain. In one someone asked what else I wanted to learn that I haven't in my earlier ones, and I'm not sure how to answer that. I know I'm improved in my knowledge but I still have questions pertaining to how I've improved and what I still need to work on. $\endgroup$ Aug 1 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ I have so much worry and anxiety about so many things its nice when I'm told that its not that big of a deal $\endgroup$ Aug 1 at 21:46
  • $\begingroup$ Try to be mindful of site policy. If your question is a good fit ask away. If you're concerned try the sandbox first. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Aug 1 at 21:52
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I am not a fan of the "never invalidate answers" policy

It's your question, not the Stack's. If you realize that you need to improve the question, please do so! If people complain that you've invalidated answers — politely ask them to jump in the lake. I've actually been told by people that the time invested in an answer somehow, magically, burdens me, the person who posted the question. Baloney.

Respondents do not have more authority over your question than you do.

However, it would be polite of you to post a comment on answers that became invalidated explaining what you did and why you had to do it and inviting them to reconsider their answers.

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  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena What on EARTH are you talking about? Your comment? I don't know anything about your comment. I'm answering the OP's question. Jeez, Tort. What's your problem? I've flagged all your comments as abusive. Try ranting when it's your question. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Aug 16 at 3:46
  • $\begingroup$ I've reread your answer more carefully and saw you were taking the position of the asker getting burdened by new answers, not answerers burdening the asker like I told you on that post. Sorry, it's my mistake and deleted myself the comments (I'm just letting here the post to who burdens who which is still interesting to read). $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Aug 16 at 6:25
  • $\begingroup$ The point still remains, saying it's baloney without some basic explanation doesn't forge a strong mind change for people who might think otherwise $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Aug 16 at 6:27

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