My pieces have a tendency to evolve with time. I am always editing my work until I reach a point where I would need better command of language or better skill with forms to make it any better. Then I learn new things and go back and adjust as necessary.
about 20 years ago, i used to write it down by hand, rewrite it to make it tidy, editing with each rewrite, till i had something i thought 'decent' AND looked nice handwritten
. then i might just leave it with no intentions of returning to it, or maybe submit somewhere. i think, also, that i had so much that needed to get out i didn't have the time to give too much attention to older writes as i needed to get the new stuff down. i have more leeway now.
your post has me nodding in agreement: as i've developed as a writer, i find i can revisit those old pieces and see they may have held the core idea but had plenty of room for improvement. i needed that space, those additional skills, to be able to identify that.
even pre-published pieces have been tinkered with; damn, if movies can have do-overs or director's cuts, then so can my poems.