I recently read this lyrically worded blog post by Brain Popsicles that discussed looking back, and realizing what an idiot you were when younger. In particular, this post was discussing writing, and how the things that you wrote when younger are often cringeworthy when re-read at a more mature age.
In a way, I can see the benefits of looking back. You can let yourself feel the humiliation of what your younger self considered literary just enough to remember to be humble. Or you can focus on the degree by which your writing has improved, and congratulate yourself on maturing as a writer.
Yet, for some of us, looking back too often is not the best idea. For some people, looking back at the past can be paralyzing, can prevent current creativity.
Personally, for me, I thought of Edna Mode from “The Incredibles” when she meets up with Mr. Incredible and agrees to patch up “the hobo suit” which she designed.
What about you? Do you often re-read your prior work? Do you feel this action helps or hinders your creativity?