Dusting Off Old Projects

thoughts orangutan

This time last year, I talked about shelving old projects and letting dead projects lie. Now I’m resurrecting the topic… to turn it on its head. Because, unexpectedly, one thing I came away thinking is that maybe sometimes it’s a good idea to step back into bad old writing.

it's aliveBurnt out from editing and not ready to start a new project, I decided to go back to an abandoned story. I knew that there were parts I liked and parts I didn’t. To put it simply, I took a duology, cut, hacked and stitched it together to make one Frankenstein MONSTER BOOK. Now, this isn’t a fairy tale (after all, we’re talking about some serious necromancy here!) I doubt me and the book will wind up happily ever after 😉 I may end up having rewritten it just to shelve it again.

monster book of monstersHowever, what I am happy to say is I had fun with my little fling. Playing around with it reminded me why I wrote it in the first place and made me want to write more. I realised I could take time out to work on something just for me (just as long as it doesn’t devour all my time 😉 ).

grave robbingMost surprisingly of all, it was a learning curve. Not only could I see the massive development in my writing, I realised I could still learn new tricks from old projects. I ended up thinking how much I could ransack from the project for future stories and where I could improve elsewhere. Sure, this may seem like graverobbing (cos it is a bit), but I also saw this as an opportunity to create a whole new life aka more stories! 😉

I’m not completely turning my back on my previous post. Not every story is meant to see the light of day buuut maybe it doesn’t have to be shut up in the dark either. So, I guess the message here is that you don’t write anything off…

What do you think about dusting off old projects and old ideas? Do you like to resurrect bits here and there? Or do you think you should let dead things lie? Let me know in the comments!

31 thoughts on “Dusting Off Old Projects

  1. I need to do the same thing. I started writing and got to 30k words and then set it aside. It’s been over a year since I’ve touched it. The plan was always to come back, but I still haven’t.

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  2. I’m a fan of looking back at my old writing 😉 On one hand I get to see how far I’ve come since then, but sometimes I find some real gems like a paragraph here or a sentence there that I find really beautiful and I’m like “Dang! I wrote that?” So I’m all for resurrecting the old projects. Sometimes they just need to sit on the back burner for a bit!

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  3. I like to do that as well! 🙂 It’s fun actually, just like visiting your old pictures and laughing about the way you looked back then 😀
    I really like the way you use GIFs. It brings so much life to the article, like you can feel it 😀

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  4. I’ve been thinking of going back to something i started writing a few years ago, but could never find the time to sit down and continue writing. With all that’s going on, I can probably find more time than usual to try again.

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  5. I’ve looked back at old work I’ve done and it’s either gone one of two ways – pleasantly pleased that I really liked something I’d written and can see the potential or abject horror that I ever thought I could use words.

    I think letting the dust sit on old projects is a good way to be because when you finally dust them off you can look at it with fresh eyes and determine whether there’s promise or whether you should bury it in the woods at midnight under the light of an old lamp.

    It’s taken me a long time to let the ‘rest’ stage come though because I’m often impatient but I find it’s been better in the long run. Even the stuff that just needs to go I keep because it shows a journey.

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    1. hahaha oh my goodness I completely relate!!

      Absolutely!! hahahaha love how you put that!

      Ah I do hear you there as well- sometimes it’s really hard to know when you’ve given enough of a rest (and when it’s too much). And yeah absolutely, even if it’s on the shelf, it’s not like I bin it, cos it can be good to look back on (and in a way I like looking at how much I’ve changed!)

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  6. Some older projects can be a treasure trove of ideas that can be recycled into a new story. And sometimes, those old projects were put on the shelf and left alone for a reason. But it never hurts to look back and see what you can mine from those old stories! 😀 Maybe even do a whole revamping of the project, just to see how much can change over the years!

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  7. I think old projects can hold gems here and there among all the other gritty chaotic bits, but I do remember some of my old projects being complete rubbish (though who knows, there could be something I could salvage from it). It’s wonderful that you can find so much from your old projects, all the best!

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  8. I’m working on doing the same thing with my blog! (Hi, old friend!) I am trying to figure out what excites me to blog about now and whether or not going back to my unfinished drafts (some from like 3 years ago) are worth revisiting. With some yes, with others no. But it’s useful to look back and revisit old projects just in case!

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  9. This isn’t something I have ever done to be honest – once I’m done with something it is generally dead to me haha. Now, though, I kind of want to dive back into something old to see if there’s anything there worthwhile continuing…

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  10. I think now is an especially great time for revisiting older projects!! If it doesn’t seem like it’s working out, then you can always put it to rest for good because now there’s loads of time to figure all of that out, you know? :’)

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  11. sometimes i write things and they are so terrible I never want to read them again but also when i DO read them again i get so embarrassed that i rewrite them and I end up liking the results so…maybe it isn’t a bad thing to dig up a project that you’ve shoved to the back of your mind 🙂

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