In 2005/6 I began the story that became "The House of Many Doors." The first draft was completed in early 2006 and several round of edits during 2007/8 helped me attract my agent. Now, several years after the first scratching of the idea of a haunted house targeting a family of artists, I am searching through my original hand written notes in preparation for returning to the story with an eye toward some targeted revisions based on specific and useful feedback from a publisher.
It's a bit like time travel. Part of this story is a reflection of who I was in 2005 (younger, less salt/more pepper in the hair, though those are the obvious and external changes), and partly, the story reflects my limitations as a writer at that time.
Several novels and years later, I am a better writer. Certainly, I have learned more skills and refined the ones I already had. That is to be expected. I have always considered myself a life long learner. It's why I continue to push myself to improve, both on my own and through structured workshops. I hope the stories I tell next year and the years after that continue to be stronger.
My challenge with this revision, is to be able to see the strengths in the current manuscript and work from there, rather than get sucked into editing the life out the story, or editing by committee. I feel confident that I can do this. I believe in this story and its characters and I am starting to see how I can take a good story and make it a really great story.
In a way, this is traveling back and forward in time: revisiting a world and and idea that captured me quite a few years ago, but seeing it as it can and will be, just a little bit work from now.