Why You Should Revisit Abandoned Pieces

Every writer has had that moment where they decide to give up on a piece. Whether it be a poem that they just can’t find the right words to make it sound just the way they want it to or a half-written novel that they’ve given up all hope on, everyone has moments where they make the bold decision to abandon their work. While this is an understandable, albeit slightly saddening and frustrating part of being a writer, I’m here to tell you why you shouldn’t give up on these works.

Every writer has had that moment where they decide to give up on a piece. Whether it be a poem that they just can’t find the right words to make it sound just the way they want it to or a half-written novel that they’ve given up all hope on, everyone has moments where they make the bold decision to abandon their work. While this is an understandable, albeit slightly saddening and frustrating part of being a writer, I’m here to tell you why you shouldn’t give up on these works.

Revisiting abandoned pieces is like reconnecting with an old friend. Sure they may not be the same as you remembered them, but oftentimes this can be a good thing. For instance, I recently revisited the sad, half composed novel seemingly taunting me from the “documents” folder of my laptop. In the moment, I abandoned the piece because I felt that it was absolutely terrible and completely different from how I wanted it to sound. I no longer felt proud of what I was writing, and this frustrating feeling led me to step away from the draft for a considerable amount of time. However, upon looking at it with fresh eyes a few months later, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was nowhere as near as bad as I had remembered it being. This has given me the drive to work towards finally completing it, something I never thought I would actually do.

Even if you decide not to complete an abandoned piece, reflecting upon aspects of abandoned works can often provide inspiration for new pieces. Logically speaking, there must be some aspect of it that still speaks to you, whether it be a particularly powerful line, a specific character, or even a setting, or you probably wouldn’t have wanted to write it in the first place. I am and always will be a firm believer that there is something salvageable in every piece, even if it doesn’t feel that way. Especially if you reach a point in time where you’re feeling particularly uninspired, revisiting old works can be a wonderful tool to provide you with some new creativity. One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give to my fellow writing enthusiasts is simple- don’t get rid of old/abandoned pieces. You never know what could end up being useful later down the line. Even if you’re certain that you’ll never glance at the piece again, it’s never a bad idea to keep it around.

Essentially, returning to unfinished pieces is a practice that I believe all writers should turn to from time to time. Especially in times of an inspirational drought (hey, we’ve all been there), it’s nice to know that you have things of your own creation that can help provide you with some new found inspiration and ideas. So if you’re having a lazy weekend or a rainy day at home, revisit those half-finished drafts waiting patiently in your desk drawers and computers. You never know what you may find or produce from them.
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Thanks for reading! Do you agree? Do you think revisiting abandoned pieces is a beneficial tool for writers? Let me know in the comments below, and be sure to check out my TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest to stay updated!

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2 thoughts on “Why You Should Revisit Abandoned Pieces”

  1. Agree. My current WIP is a combination of 2 abandoned works/ideas and it’s become something with a lot of promise. Old writing may not be good, but it doesn’t mean the idea was weak so I totally agree with revisiting and improving on old ideas. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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