Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: The Potential of “Unfinished” Work
Last July, I noted some boosts in my writerly productivity. I discerned several factors in that happy development, including
the extent to which I’ve been taking to heart [advice] from Midge Raymond’s Everyday Writing: Tips and Prompts to Fit Your Regularly Scheduled Life. As part of her counsel on ways to meet our writing goals, Midge advises: “Don’t dismiss unfinished projects.” She explains: “I’ve found many gems in long-abandoned projects….Never abandon old ideas; you never know when they’ll suddenly be relevant. Revisit all your ‘old’ stories, poems, or essays at least once a year.”
And what do you know? Some interesting things have happened since I’ve taken Midge’s advice to heart. First, I stumbled on a call for submissions that instantly reminded me of a quirky piece I’d drafted nearly a year ago but done nothing with since. I dug up that piece, spiffed it up a bit, submitted it, and received an acceptance shortly thereafter.
Then (and with some extra encouragement from one of my writing friends), I returned to my novel manuscript-in-the-drawer and extracted one of the chapters that I’d always believed might hold some standalone potential. I spent some time polishing that piece, and have sent it out as well. (We’ll see what happens there.)
Well, now I can tell you what happened. The piece was accepted–by that first editor to whom I’d sent it. And last week, “Rio, 1940” was published as one of 14 stories in the December 2012 issue of JewishFiction.Net.
I hope that this encourages some of you to revisit some of your own “unfinished” writings. And if you, too, have success stories to share stemming from this practice, please tell us about them!