34 I haven't written anything new that's non-academic or non-fancy pants email writing over the last little while but, there's no shame in that because life is keeping me too busy in ways that no one that's reading this that doesn't know me personally would care about. I constantly talk about how much I hate putting my private life on public display everywhere including my blog so there will be no further discussion of those matters.
What I have done a lot lately is, when I have free time available I take old work and just give it a careful edit through and look at it with fresh eyes. I think one of my best and most rewarding instances as a writer was my opportunity to edit other people's creative work on tight deadlines and I think that's just as crucial in terms of the things they tell all writer's they must do in every single book about writing I've ever read (and believe me I've read a ton of those and have a whole shelf crammed with books on that subject at home): to be a disciplined writer who always finds time to write. The one thing I have to say to all you interested readers out there and especially all you writers out there is that looking at your work and even other people's work is in fact the same thing as writing new work just because these things involve looking at things in a way you would when writing a story . I'm constantly recording and producing ideas during my commutes and I've recorded ideas in my notebook I carry in my purse a lot lately when something I see provokes a new story idea because I never really know when something will be worth noting. Lately a piece of graffiti and an interesting, image that was created in mind by watching and eavesdropping the interaction between two strangers was enough to provoke images for poems and stories.
Today I revisited a poem that's a few years old that I wrote after journeying on a road trip past the highway of heroes in Trenton, Ontario and hearing about it's constant usage as a ceremonial, sombre honoring of Canadian soldiers where there's people gather by the road side and watch the cars go by carrying the bodies of Canadian soldiers who died in war overseas as they journey, slowly from the place where they are picked up by drivers to the grave yard. My sudden want to revisit the poem was motivated by my want to develop it further for the campus paper I'm the creative writing editor of and the way it works perfectly with the upcoming issue. That's a perfect example of the little things that cause me to go back to old work because my efforts as a writer have got me to pay close attention to every little submission deadline that seems appropriate in multiple places. In conclusion: revisting old work is a good thing because it's important to rub off those metaphorical cob webs and make everything new again every once in a while.