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?