New For Old Replacement

What do you do with old stories and old ideas you want to rehash, recycle or revisit?

I have a list of old stories and old ideas waiting for my attention. But what to do with them?

Recently I looked at the list of stories I have, both old and new, and came to a decision: Ditch the old and focus on the new.

It’s like an infomercial offering you a ‘new for old replacement’ deal.

I am not the kind of writer who can sustain multiple projects at various stages; I prefer to give my attention to one work in progress at at time. My focus right now is on the editing of my first novel, a collaborative tome, Post Marked: Piper’s Reach.

If new ideas pop up, I write them down in my notebooks and file the idea away in the back of the mashed potato I call my brain.

While I like the old stories, their ideas and expression, it’s not moving me forward towards the writing goals I have set. I have a 3 Year Plan of projects (which may have to extend to 5 years as I think I was being a little over ambitious).

My blog is a testament to the beginning of my writing journey, and while there is less fiction being posted here, I will leave it as a reference point (at least for the short term) while I work on my novel and plan out a novella and new short stories. I will let them stand as markers of my writing journey, a testament to how I wrote.

Looking back too far will only stymie the progress forward.

It’s good to take stock of your writing inventory from time to time, clear the decks of those projects prohibiting your progress forward and focus on the new works you will write to achieve your goals.

Will you have a “New For Old Replacement”?



7 responses to “New For Old Replacement

  1. I’m afraid I do have a pile of half finished stories and an unedited novel or two that I’m not quite ready to let go of. Yet. But I agree with you. I’m just not ready to go there yet. 🙂

  2. A good idea is a good idea, regardless of whether its covered in dust or still wet with amniotic fluid. And a bad idea is often a good idea at the wrong time. Sometimes ideas need to wait for a different junction in our lives to be fully realised. That’s why I don’t throw anything out. I honour idea (I can remember – because I am still converting to process of writing everything down).

    Progress is not about ditching old ideas but assessing our craft and seeing what we excel at and what we struggle with and working to balance the two, honing new skills, finding different avenues for story telling and always trying to challenge ourselves to write the best stories possible.

    I’m very grateful to the ideas I returned to last year – to the unfinished pieces of work. One became “Firefly Epilogue”, one became “Elyora” and the story I had just about given up on after 18 months, came “Indigo”. They are three of the stories I’m most proud of. To have said the idea were stale and I needed to move on would have meant I lost them.

    Then there are several unfinished NaNo novels I most likely will never touch. But can I release them? Not just yet. They detail part of my early journey and their space on my hard drive is small.

    My maxims:

    1. Finish what you start.
    2. If you can’t, know what absolutely can be jettisoned without a second thought.
    3. Horde the rest as late bloomers.

    • Good ideas are, and always will be, good ideas. I was also referring to works that I have written where I wanted to revisit it, rework it, and there are a couple of ideas like that. I will revisit the idea and write a new piece for a new audience and a new purpose.
      There are others, like early Fiction Friday pieces, which will remain as testament to my writing journey. There are other ideas I am undecided about, wanting to revisit them yet wanting to pursue new pieces rather than retread old ground.

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