That awkward feeling when you reread old work

 

While I’m waiting on edits for Persephone, I’ve been spending a lot of time writing articles and short stories to keep my name out there. I use duotrope.com to keep up with my submissions, and keep an eye on new markets.

I was thrilled to see a call for submissions for a super hero anthology. A few years ago I wrote a story about a group of super heroes stuck in a kind of “Three Blind Mice” situation. I wrote it, tried to get it published, and eventually gave up, because there just wasn’t a market for it. But this anthology would be perfect!

So I open the file and reread it. It was painful. I… I don’t even know how to describe how badly written this story was. I’m revising it now, but it’s going to be awhile before this story gets out of urgent care and into the hands of a publisher.

Beyond being embarrassed, I’m worried. Is it really that bad because I’ve improved, or with enough time and distance would the stuff I’m writing now look just as bad? And is that a good thing or a bad thing? The mistakes I made on this story were truly amature, so in a way its a good thing I’m humiliated because I’m improving. So if in a few years I look back on my work now and get embarressed then that means I’ll have improved more, right?

But it also still kind of means that something I wrote sucked. Not that big of a deal with an unpublished story I can revise to my hearts content, but what about my published work? It’s out there as is forever now. Whatever I learn in the future can’t be applied to it.

Scary thought.

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23 thoughts on “That awkward feeling when you reread old work

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