Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (your words)

Something old can turn into something new, with a little work…

I’m pretty big on “living green” wherever possible, and lately I’ve been thinking about how it’s possible for writers to get more mileage out of their writing projects by recycling, too. That’s because I have a project underway that’s taking something old and making it into something new.

Writers have always had the option of reprints–re-selling something that’s already been published, to a new market–but we don’t always think of doing so. In part, perhaps, because many markets specifically say “no reprints,” we are more likely to be thinking about the next new thing than something we might have published a few years ago. That kind of thinking can make us miss out on opportunities, though.

Another kind of recycling involves taking short stories and building on them for larger projects. This works in reverse, too–sometimes a section of a novel can stand alone as a short story or novella, or provide the seed for a tangential story. Everything does not have to be brand spanking new and shiny all the time.

My current project–and this is the first time I’ve mentioned it to anyone, anywhere–involves taking an old ebook project and revamping it with a new twist. Much of the already-written text is completely reusable, but the new product will (if all goes according to plan) be fresh and new for a new audience. I’m getting kind of excited about it, since I’ve actually had time to work on it lately.

What about you? Do you have something “old” in your writing folder that you can reuse or recycle? Maybe there’s buried treasure on your hard drive, so take a look!

Image courtesy of kathaer at

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