This quote comes from an essay by photographer Sze Tsung Leong called "A Picture You Already Know." Leong was referring to the practice of working in series, but I think this quote also applies well to matters of writing. Our vision, the reason we write, rarely appears fully formed with one try. We're bombarded by the work of other writers, by education, by the publishing industry to be anybody other than our true selves. To find or re-find our vision may require several attempts, either in the form of revisionary drafts, or perhaps in the form of multiple stories that all strive to do the same thing.
For myself, I find that with each story I write I'm defining a set of themes that are important to me. And, I sometimes wonder--since my first completed novel has gone so far astray from the initial inspiration--if it would be worthwhile to try and write the story again, creating something new, and perhaps better shaping my personal vision.
How do you feel about revisiting a subject matter or story? Do you think there's something to gain from it?