Recycling Your Work

If you’re anything like me, then you’re apt to have notebooks, computer folders and stacks of paper full of unfinished work that at one point or another, you were excited or maybe even just mildly enthusiastic about.

     I have a pile of partly written short stories, rough beginnings of what I had thought would be the greatest novels ever penned and half thought out blog posts standing on the shelf in the alcove of my living room.

     Admittedly, a lot of it is rubbish, but in going through it, I realised that I had discarded or given up on some rather good writing (if I say so myself!) and that it was just sitting there going to waste. I mean, that particular heap of paper had sat there for a whole year at least before looked through it.

     My point is that you don’t have to let a collection of uncompleted work go to waste. It can be reused. Half finished blog posts can be re-examined, re-edited or even rewritten entirely from another angle. If you have half-written short stories, they can be saved so that you can mine from them at a later date.

     Some people have scenes written for a novel, or for short stories that they have had to discard because the story was too long with them included or because they just didn’t end up working for that particular project, but they can be saved and used for something else. You’ve worked hard in creating them, why would you throw them away?

     You never know, a fresh look at some of your old, abandoned work may spark your creativity and help you to see it in a way you hadn’t before. Often, when I’m working on something I’ll stop, read it back, realise that it’s utter rubbish and put it in a stack like the one on my shelf. However, with a little bit of time and distance, I’ve looked at the same piece of writing and been bewildered, wondering why on earth I had discarded it.

     Just about anything can be recycled and, if you’ve taken the time and effort to create something, then it should have the chance to live in one form or another. Even if, in the end, it finds a home in a folder named ‘Ideas’ on your computer.

I hope you were able to make sense of my tired rambling, and as always, thank you so much for reading. I do appreciate it.

Until next time,

George

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3 Comments »

  1. I actually do this all the time. I have a file for ‘deleted scenes’ from each of my books and index cards for partially developed ideas. Someone famous and successful at this gig said never to throw anything away. Might’ve been Neil Gaiman… Anyway, good advice!

    Liked by 1 person

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