In one of my recent posts I mentioned that I'd undertaken to complete a work I began several years ago on Evocation. When I set it aside in favor of the work that became Crossed Keys* (which, by the way, I've just received the proof of and it is absolutely amazing) the manuscript was already at 300 pages. Well, handwritten pages to be more precise, which turned out to be about 150 pages typed.
Now that I am revisiting the work, correcting, updating and supplementing, I am discovering just how much my own practice has evolved since then, as well as how much I've learned. I've always prejudged authors who release "revised" or "updated" editions of their books, believing it to be an attempt merely to cash in twice from the same work, similarly to how singers release several remixes of the same song. This assumption, however, is now proven wrong. If I'd have published this work back then it would have been a thorough, comprehensive and exhaustive exposition of the art of evocation. And yet now when I look at it, I see many ways in which I can improve it, supplement it and add to it.
It also illustrates just how much my own practice has changed between then and now. How much I have added to it and adapted it and what has yielded the best results. For lack of a better term, how much I have "evolved" as a Magus. At that point, having achieved what I considered remarkable success, I believed that I had perfected my own system and that nothing out there could improve upon it. And yet now I look back on that work as just the beginning of what has come.
The result is that this project is going to be a thing of sheer beauty. If I'd have published it back then, I have no doubt it would have been highly regarded as there was (and still isn't) anything of its depth on the subject available. What it will BE when finished, however, is something far greater.