Friday Writing Exercise: Rewriting the Past 0 Comments

Friday Writing Exercise: Rewriting the Past

On the same date every year he would write a different version of the same story

Sometimes you just don’t have inspiration. But you’ve had it in the past right? This exercise comes from a series based around the idea of ‘stealing from yourself’, the best (and really, only) acceptable form of plagiarism.

The task is to go through your past work, the older the better, just looking at the titles. Pick one that stands out. If you can’t remember what happens, that’s good because it means you can do something totally different with it. If you do remember, try rewriting it from a different perspective, or coming at the piece earlier or later than when the first narrative was based. If you want to get a little kinky, you can take a story and make it into a poem, or take a poem and make it non-fiction.

The best part about this is the idea is already there, and you won’t ruin it. Instead you’ll get another piece out of it that may be strong and original in its own right. Alternatively, you’ll get another perspective on a piece you’re currently writing.

For bonus points, do this task with the same piece on the same date once a year for the rest of your life :)


Rafael’s (23) purpose is to give people glorious stories to tell. Some have appeared in dotdotdashGoing Down Swinging and The Big Issue Fiction Edition. He also competes in poetry slams and giant-sized chess games. Graduated from RMIT’s creative writing program in 2012, he often wonders what he’ll do with the rest of his life, but the answer’s always the same. Writing and falling in love.


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