Monday, 15 June 2015

Looking Back

They say you should never go back, but last weekend I did just that. I’d been invited to run a couple of article-writing workshops as part of the Leominster Festival, which were being held in the very building where I used to work, before I became a freelance writer.

Although I was going back geographically, I wasn’t completely stepping back in time, because just like I have, the building I used to work in has also moved on. (Not geographically, but in design and use.) No longer owned by the council, it’s now a community facility with a lovely cafe, meetings rooms (great for workshops), historical displays and small office units for local businesses. As I explored the building there were only a couple rooms that I recognised, such was the transformation.

It was a wonderfully nostalgic trip down memory lane, but it also reminded me that as writers we can’t stand still. It’s important we move forward, developing new specialisms or areas of interest, because the world is always moving on.

In one of the workshops I looked at market analysis and one delegate picked up a copy of The Lady for the fist time in several years. She couldn’t believe how much it had changed. (I broke it to her gently, that the publication is now edited by a man.)

Nostalgia plays an important part on some magazines these days, and while it is important to think back to the way things were it’s also important to look at what else has changed. This includes ourselves as writers.

So why not spend a few minutes looking back at some of your earlier writing? How have you changed as a writer? But perhaps more importantly, ask yourself what your next changes are going to be?

Good luck. 


  1. Great post, Simon. And by the way, I loved your article in Writer's Forum!! I have done a bit of 'going back' over the past six months - some didn't work out as planned and others worked a treat. Whilst you revisited Leominster, not far from my old roots, I did exactly what you suggested and revisited some of my early stories. It is amazing to note how much progress I have made since back when I began. Thank goodness :) I do like the notion of tradition but like you say, it is important to move along with the times. Learn from the past but forever continue on a forward journey. My next stop my love affair with the semi-colon :) Have a great week.

    1. Hi Nicola,

      Yes, i think my article in Writers' Forum caused some hilarity - one reader has written in to say so, and I've had lots of other comments! Great to read that you've been able to see how your writing has changed over the years. I think we often get caught up in the now, and forget how far we've travelled. Sometimes it's good to be reminded of that journey.