I’m betting this sounds familiar to you: Tucked away in drawers or in an almost-forgotten computer file are projects with exciting potential that you haven’t looked at in a while. When I pulled one of these old, and long-languishing pieces out, I was surprised at how far I had taken it. I tucked it away after it was rejected because the timing wasn’t right, but today it’s a different story.
I’m sharing my fruitful reactions to revisiting this piece because I’m hoping to encourage you to do the same with something you lavished care and attention on, but haven’t yet put out into the world. Here goes:
First, I was surprised by how far I had taken the story. It had some rough patches here and there, but overall it was surprisingly polished. Thinking back, I remembered how much fun I had writing it and how energized and jazzed I felt when I actually sent it out. All that pleasure was there in my pages, waiting to be recognized and saluted.
Second, I realized that there was a way I could breathe new life into the piece — and that it actually wouldn’t be that difficult to do. There are whole swatches of the story that read well and say exactly what I want to say. If I can come up with a fresh opening gateway to my tale and give it a sunset ending that brings the reader home, it will ready to resubmit. It will take work, but it’s definitely doable.
Third, I had a flash of pride—this was an idea worth developing and I took it and ran with it. The timing many not have been right, but I gave it my best shot in the moment. I really pored some brain cells into conceiving and crafting the piece— I put it all on the field.That made mine feel good about myself and my work.
And finally, I felt a sense of urgency. This piece is good, I realized. Really good. It deserves to be out in the world. It deserves to be read. It deserves more time and attention from me, its creator. I can make it better. I can update it. I can give getting it published another shot. And I should. I must. This piece is worthy and more timely than ever.
OK, so right here, right now, I am committing to revising and resubmitting this story—to writing dangerously by putting it out there and risking rejection yet again.
How about you? Is there some long-forgotten piece of work you should cast a fresh eye on—something that’s been waiting patiently for you to remember and revive it? If so, why not give it a second chance as we all write on?
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