Happy Monday world!
I love writing. And I love finding my old writing again (well, love-hate, but definitely a fair splash of love in there). One of the most exciting adventures that I can go on (at least inside my own house) is rediscovering old things. That’s a pretty open-ended statement because I find it really easy to have adventures and get excited about stuff, but I’m fairly confident with rating finding old, forgotten things—depending on what the ‘old things’ are, I mean I’m not advocating for digging up any ancient graves, everyone—as an exhilarating experience. But it’s complex, too.
I wandered downstairs a few months ago to put a full notebook from Trimester 2, 2016 in the room downstairs where I used to study. It has some inbuilt shelving that our upstairs study is lacking, so there are a lot of pieces that I consider as requiring ‘storage’ that just live alone downstairs in the tiny back room. Foolishly, I decided to do some riffling around after I placed the notebook on the shelf… And I found a whole bunch of other ones. At least two were blank, which meant they had to go upstairs to the left-hand side drawers of my desk (I have more blank notebooks than any one person should have: and yet, I can’t seem to stop myself from buying them). The others—three, maybe four—were less empty.
One of them is full of torn pages, scribbled notes, half-started stories and random ideas, as well as the complete (not really that complete, but relatively solid) plot for my first ever novel idea. I’m sorry people, but how could you not get excited by that?! Sure, sure, it’s a bit cliched (aren’t most things when we originally create them? Especially when we’re just teenagers) but it was my first big idea. It was the first time that I thought, ‘yepparooni, this needs to be a book.’ Now, it may never actually be a book, and we’ll have to wait and see whether I ever get around to writing it while there are still so many other adventures to take, but it’s still amazing, brilliant and magical to me that it exists at all. Strange to think that having put so much effort into creating that concept and all of these other random bits and pieces that hung awkwardly off it—you know, scenes that just pop into your head and you have to get them down before they disappear, even though you’re nowhere near that actual part yet—that I then disappeared down the military rabbit hole and basically abandoned it for so long.
Lives are crazy.
Anyway, it was fascinating to revisit some of this stuff. Now: some of it is terrible. The prose isn’t great, some of the ideas are a bit ‘meh’: but it’s there. It’s just more sand in the sandbox for me to play in. Sometimes I like to think about (or actually ‘plan’ out) cobbling together a number of different pieces into a single story, be it shorter or longer. Since I have so much material—the benefits of lots of free-writing sessions and my newly rediscovered treasure trove—sometimes it just makes more sense to me to find ways to weave different stories into one another and come up with something a little more complex. Mostly because it uses up a bunch of bits that otherwise would probably never see the light of day—and still might not. It sounds very exciting and brilliant (fair crack of the whip, I didn’t say it is brilliant, just that it sounds it), but I’ve yet to actually create any of these Franken-stories yet. Like much of my writing ‘career’ at the moment, I’m full of ideas and somewhat less full of actual completed pieces.
But some of what I found looks like fun: and isn’t that what writing is about? Like… why did I design this galaxy? How did I come up with those weird-but-kinda-cool-at-the-same-time names? Why is one of them highlighted? And is it time to resurrect it and set something within it?
All good questions. Just another burden for the writer: more questions, ideas and possibilities than the stars in the skies and only one lifetime to hungrily pursue them all.
What a beautiful burden to bear.