On reading my own books

So I just finished re-reading The Cortlandt Boys. I wrote this novel about a small town basketball team in 2013-2014 (well, after writing a very rough draft in 2004…) and I haven’t read it since early 2017.

It is a very strange experience to read something that I wrote from the perspective of being many years removed from the writing. I’m blogging about it right now partly as I am trying to process it! I created this whole world, and all these characters, but in ten years my memory has lost some of the details. And so some of it seems new. What is going to happen next? On some level I should know. And I vaguely do. But then I start thinking wait, that was quite a twist…or I didn’t think that character would react that way, but now I can see how it had to happen…

Anyway, there’s no larger point here. I enjoyed reading the book, so I guess that’s good, and I’ll probably be thinking about it for a while. I’m looking forward to discussing it with my “Summer Reads” book club later this month. It was also a reminder to myself that I do like writing fiction, and when I put the effort into it, I like reading the fiction I write. So perhaps I should do more of that as my next career twist.

Have you ever revisited something you created many years ago?


5 thoughts on “On reading my own books

  1. I was one of your beta readers for Cortlandt Boys and I thought it was quite good. I was impressed with your bball knowledge!

  2. We recently moved and I came across a lot of notes and papers that I had written while getting my MBA. I started re-reading some of them and I couldn’t believe that I had written them! Not only were the topics unfamiliar to me at this point, but the academic style I wrote in was surprisingly dense. I received A’s so I guess they hit the mark. I almost couldn’t believe that I actually wrote them!

    I don’t know how much practical knowledge I gathered in those classes. Lots of theories. I always say that the most enduring thing I learned was the definition of “opportunity cost” – if you’re doing one thing you’re not able to do another. That applies if you’re scheduling a production line (which I did for several years) or choosing which ministry to get involved in at church. Sounds like that should be intuitive knowledge but it’s not if you think “you can do it all”.

    1. @Janet – opportunity cost is a very useful concept. It’s particularly useful for time, where we are all strictly limited. Of course, I also believe that some of the stark trade-offs people think they are facing (particularly with work and family) aren’t nearly so stark. Time is precious and plentiful. A lot to unpack there!

  3. Yes! I just read my first blog post on my *newest* blog–which was from 10 years ago. One thing I noticed is that 10-years-ago-me remembers more details from my teen years than I do now. It is an odd thing to read something you wrote yourself that feels new.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *