The other day I read an older piece of writing I had written a few years back.
Usually my response in these situations is to laugh and see how much I’ve improved since then. But I read it and felt somewhat satisfied with my writing.
It was a flash fiction piece titled “The Picture”, inspired by personal events in my life. I had a few criticisms in my head about what I could have done better but I think we are all our own worst critics.
Sometimes I think it’s good to revisit old writing; it’s like revisiting old photos and memories to see how far you’ve come. Sometimes you don’t want to change it and leave it as it is in its historical state, or you revisit a piece to edit it and give it new life.
For me, this piece of writing is a piece for my writing portfolio and one that I consider an accomplishment. It taught me the beauty of flash fiction: how you can say something significant and meaningful in a few hundred words.
I think there are a host of other advantages to this activity. You can get inspiration from older pieces, you can re-use writing techniques that worked in your writing, you can use a piece of it as a writing prompt or even as a writing exercise. It might even be a sequel or prequel to a story. Imagine that!
In an interview, Stephen King mentioned that one of his short stories turned into a novel.
Do you ever look back at older pieces of writing you’ve set aside? Do you usually do this with current projects or past ones?