When you think of ‘old ways’, the first thing that comes to mind is conservatives in some form or other, going back to something familiar, ‘tried and tested. sticking to what you know. Somehow, it seems that everybody takes that approach at some point or other, no matter of their way of thinking or age.
Even a usually forward-thinking, and now at a forward age singer/songwriter Neil Young made a song and an album called “Old Ways”.
But what would happen if approach old ways in a more literal manner, as a process of retracing your steps with an outlook on how it can bring benefits for the future?
Of course, for writers that process corresponds primarily with the editing of what they have written, looking hard at all those grammar and spelling mistakes, hard to read sentences and inconsistencies in presenting their thoughts and ideas.
But retracing your writing steps should certainly go beyond that. It is not just looking at what was done wrong, or what could be made easier to read and understand, but what can be done in another way, taking in all the circumstances. And those circumstances include how the writer has evolved personally, how his outlook and ideas and changed all in the respect of how his writing can be better and how he as a person has changed, even if the text is only a day old. That process also includes a look at the ideas, books, art or anything else that has inspired us, what is their place in our mindset now.
In that respect, looking at ‘old ways’, retracing our steps can serve as a source of new, fresh, or refreshed ideas and inspire us to take our writing in new directions, whether they refer to something old, conservative or something completely new.
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