Recently I have, for whatever reason, gone back and re-read old stories I trunked a way back. And I've been quite surprised by how good they are.
In fact, in the case of an old novel, I was so impressed, I wondered why I ever gave up on it. I only queried it to about 28 agents, had a reasonable request rate, but for some reason decided to move on. Probably because I was knee deep in another book and was so focused on that, I didn't find time to query any more widely. Plus, all the responses I got from agents who read the MS were very similar and the problem they had with the book wasn't one I could fix through revision or rewriting.
In the case of another old book, I agree that it doesn't work as is. But I have an idea how to make it work as a YA, and if I'm right, it's not going to take a whole lot of work to whip that one into shape.
I also read through a novella I wrote a couple of years back as part of a project with two other writers. The whole project never came together, but my novella stands alone. It's very different to anything else I've written. It's very dark and gothic and grotesque and, I think, hysterically funny. In an extremely black way. Extremely black... I haven't been tempted by self-publishing yet, but for this little baby, well, I think it may be the way to go. Under a pseudonym, I think. To protect the innocent.
So now I'm faced with a whole lot of old projects just begging to be resurrected. Plus my new book, which is in that happy revision place now, where I know exactly what I'm doing and where I need to be. I'm hoping to be done with this round within 2 weeks at the most. Assuming I don't have kids home sick this week and all the other little distractions I've had to deal with this week.
Have you ever brought an old project back to life? Did it work? And if you've self published, do you have any tips for someone who is still very on the fence about the whole idea?