When Reading Old Writing

Recently I found myself reading old stories I’d written a long time ago. Not whole manuscripts, mind you, just bits and pieces of the story and hastily drawn out plot lines. My first reaction, as I’m sure most writers can relate so, was the feeling of embarrassed amusement at my level of skill – and then the obsessive urge to run through and edit everything to make it better.

This led to the “oh I’ll just rewrite it better!” which proceeded to involve me spending hours re-writing old stories. Fun? Definitely. I forgot how many cool ideas I have floating around. Productive? … not so much. Maybe it’ll be helpful in a few years when I decide to take up the project for real, but I’ll probably be a better writer at that point anyway and just end up re-writing it again.

So that was an unnecessary distraction from writing what I was supposed to be writing, but it was neat to see how many ideas are stored on my little ol’ computer here. Not only that, but I surprised myself with how interesting they were. I’d forgotten some of them and had moments of “hey, did I really think of that? I’m kinda cool!”


Some of it may never be useable due to it being a cliche or overused idea in the current market, but maybe a few of the ideas could be melded together to create something workable. Whenever I get to that point. Meanwhile, I’m trying to shut the door on the various stories which are now clamoring for my attention. They all want a piece of my brain apparently.

Have you ever gone through your old writings and found something fascinating that you’d mostly forgotten about? How many “set-aside-for-later” ideas do you have running around in your brain?

About R. K. Brainerd

I've been writing since my pre-teens, mostly in the realm of fantasy and sci-fi. Taking interesting concepts and dropping complex characters into fantastical worlds is my jam. I also raise dairy goats and herd cats, the evidence of which can be found on my Instagram. Welcome to the adventure. View all posts by R. K. Brainerd

13 responses to “When Reading Old Writing

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