Finding Old Writing


I was cleaning out my car this past weekend, and when I finally managed to get around to the trunk, I found all sorts of goodies from my high school days. I found a bunch of my sheet music from band, including a few flute solos that I don’t remember ever playing. But I’m pretty sure I was trying to take advantage of having the copy machine password, so I made copies of music I wanted to learn. (Too bad I haven’t picked up my flute since I graduated high school.)

I also found a few journals with some old writing in them. One was a short story that I wrote two pages and then stopped writing, but it was really intriguing. Part of me thinks I had to have started that in college sometime, because it was pretty well written.

But it seemed to be about a girl with drug addict parents who lost custody when she was six or so. She was bounced from foster home to foster home until she aged out. Now homeless and desperate, she gets an offer to fulfill a huge $100,000 drug order, with the promise that she would get half the money if she was successful.

That’s where I stopped writing. Sigh. I’m hoping next week (this weekend is going to be insane with my 2 year college reunion) I can work on that a little bit. It’s an interesting premise in my opinion, and I’m curious to see where I can go with it. Heck maybe I’ll work on it today? 

But I really need to vacuum my entire house… I’ll see what I can do. I’ve got 500 words to write today at least! (An update to the eight week challenge will be posted on Monday :).)

I also found a notebook filled up almost to the last page. It unfortunately has a bit of water damage, from having an ice chest sit on it for almost a year, but I can make out most of the words. I remember writing this one in high school.

Out of Tune —

It’s a completed short story about a night at a high school band lock-in where somebody is murdering people. But through the hype of the evening, nobody notices. I haven’t gotten a chance to read all the way through it yet, but I’m going to work on transcribing it and I’ll probably share it to my Wattpad account after a bit of editing. I know one guy I went to high school with will be thrilled to see it again. He and I actually worked on the sequel, Out of Time. I also found THAT notebook, but I never got around to finishing it. Maybe I will now? Who knows!

It’s always fun to find old writing isn’t it? Even if it’s absolutely the most terrible thing you’ve ever read in your life. When that happens, you hopefully realize quickly how much you have grown from that.

When I was packing up my bedroom before I left for college, I found a full notebook with a story in it that was not finished. This one was about a family that apparently had some genetic condition that turned their leg bones black and caused cardiac problems. I read it back and was like —

I also recently dove back into my FictionPress and profiles and WOW. If you follow those links and read something, note that you have been warned about the terrible-ness of the works I published in there. No judgement! haha.

I think that if you’re stuck in a rut, feeling like you’re trying to write the worst novel/story/poem in the world, the best thing you can do for yourself is to read some stuff you wrote years ago. I guarantee it’s better, and if(when) I’m right, you’ll realize how much you’ve grown as a writer. And I’ll tell you,

that is a great motivator.

It’s also just a great way to laugh at yourself when you need a pick me up. Because some of your stuff WILL be terrible.

Did you recently come across some old works? Tell me about it!

10 thoughts on “Finding Old Writing

  1. I love finding my old writing. I get a motivational charge out of seeing where my craft was then vs. where it is now. I get excited about the progress I’ve made, especially since that progress wasn’t perceptible at the time.

  2. I one time found a short story I had written about a Switz Detective in the 1970’s… I had written it when I was like 9 or 10, where the hell did I get that idea from, I have no clue.

  3. I recently came across 3 journals I had in elementary, middle and high-school. I named them based on the phase of life I was going through at the time. It’s funny how happy my elementary school one (with my biggest problem being ditched at recess) to how dark my high school journal was. They definitely helped shaped me as the writer I am today!

  4. I love encountering my old writing. I like seeing what I was thinking about back then, what I thought was cool, and how bad-ass I thought I was. I also like taking some of those ideas and trying to re-work them into new, better versions. I’ve gotten several really good characters from old writing, and a few good stories too. However, I don’t think I’d ever share the raw drafts with anyone but me.

    • That’s what I’m currently doing! (Reworking them into new, better versions, that is.) But I totally agree, sharing the raw drafts is a good way to get people to look at me like I may want to reconsider the writing thing haha.

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