Apparently most babies first start their crawling career in a rather backwards direction. The problem with crawling backwards is obviously that it doesn't take you forwards towards the object you're staring at and wanting to reach.
So the straight forward answer is not to bother with going backwards, and just keep concentrating on the object you really, really want to reach just in front of you (never mind the fact that it's almost certainly something you're not allowed to have).
Edward hasn't started to crawl backwards. In fact I don't think I've ever seen him manage anything other than an occasional, accidental stumble in a backwards direction. Edward has, however, started to crawl forwards.
For some time he's been able to put himself up on all fours, rock for a while, then fall forwards and repeat. This was actually very effective at getting him towards those elusive forbidden objects. However it obviously left him moving so slowly that we pesky parents kept catching him in time and moving either him or the target!
The answer; crawl better. So that's just what he's been working on.
At the beginning of this week he was fairly consistently managing three distinct arm/leg/crawl motions before having to throw himself forwards. He still needs fairly frequent breaks, but he's definitely now managing more and getting himself further!
I think we'll be tidying up some cables this weekend!