Old vs. New: Reading my old writing

The other night I found one of my memory sticks (needed it to get a saved copy of a group project from my friend) and it was filled with ten drafts of my novels. Some of them were drafts of the same story, the one that I’ve decided to tuck away for a while. I’ve just been reading through them and I’m shocked at the quality of my writing (minus the awkward structure). I suppose a similar thing happened while I was in high school, when I decided to flip through my old binders and notebooks and noticed how I used to write and compared it to my current writing.

What I find funny is that I used to use a ton of description, a painful amount honestly. I’d describe things that really didn’t need to be talked about, what-so-ever and my dialogue was decent. Now I find that I barely describe anything and my dialogue is more free and realistic…which I like. I like when I’m reading dialogue and it flows like an actual conversation. My dialogue used to be very staged and choppy. Still some of my descriptions were really fun to have around. It made my characters thoughts seem more…teenage. Although internal dialogue is something I’m doing a lot of with one of the novels I’m working on write now (which I will post in the future as promised! I didn’t forget).

Wow my old poetry is so…innocent and happy. Nothing like the “emo” poems I’ve been writing over the last couple of years. This file of poetry is from 2012. What on earth happened between now and 2012 that caused such a shift? I mean…as a little kid all my stories and poems were about animals. I suppose this was the space between writing about animals and people? I still write about nature and the weather. Perhaps I’ve just been writing more during the fall and winter. My professor and my classmates thought my poems were very cold and depressing, and that I use a lot of winter-like themes in my writing…this is true…but honestly I just found my happier writing very corny and personal and my more depressing stuff was never written about myself, but about characters in my novels. I guess I cheated a little by not sharing something that was directly related to me, but if someone asked me to read a really dorky poem that I wrote about someone I had a crush on when I was 14, I’d look for the nearest exit immediately…and I’d just run.

I think I’ll share a bit of my old writing…and eat a bagel: cinnamon raisin.

Peace out! Enjoy your Thursday folks!

— R.

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2 thoughts on “Old vs. New: Reading my old writing

  1. It’s both nice and scary, I think, to indulge in one’s own old work. At least for me it is. Sometimes I even find myself reading and saying to myself “You wrote this? How? And Why???”
    What is important, I think, to always keep that work and not be ashamed of it, keep it instead and revisit it, re read it for yourself and get back in touch with yourself. I also think it serves a great deal to discover what are your writing aspirations and how did they change, it is especially pleasant when you realise something literary that was troubling you in the past is so much better now (even better when you have no idea how it happened, at least in my case 😀 )

    • Yes, I completely agree with you!
      I took a creative writing course this year, and during our final class we discussed how much our own writing, along with the writing of our peers had changed since September. We all had grown, especially in our confidence and we created a safe space to share our work, which none of us had, had before.
      Honestly, now I feel more comfortable reading the books I wrote when I was 8 years old…lots of talking animals but hey, super powers and talking animals are awesome. I wish I had a pet grizzly that could talk and lived in my house. That would be so cool lol 😀

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