You know what has always been tough for me as a writer? Letting words go. Seriously, I’m a packrat of words. I don’t mean in books, either. I’m talking about in journals, notebooks, and digital folders. I have volumes upon volumes of digital journals, half-baked ideas, story drafts, unpublished articles, et cetera.
There’s so much writing stuff of mine that may never see the light of day. And, that’s fine. Recently, I decided to go back and clear out a huge portion of those words. Why? Because it just had to go.
As I try to minimize the clutter in other aspects of my life, it disturbed me that I had so many words serving no purpose anymore. They are simply taking up space. That’s not to say I delete everything. There are some things that are harmless and sentimental. But, if I don’t have a use for it, why do I have it?
I’ve deleted hundreds of documents in my archive purge, plus even more in duplicate files that happen from switching computers over the years. Is this a necessary exercise? It is for me. It’s also a rediscovery of my past as a writer. Sure, there are some good things I come across, many of which will be published somewhere at a later date. But, the clutter had to go in order to discover the “good stuff.”
Also, the other major thing I’ve done is to trim excess from the already good stuff. There are so many rambles, extra words, and run-on sentences that plagued my earlier writing. Still today, I aim to be more concise. Big ideas, small words – I suppose that’s what I’m aiming for.
But, I hate editing. It’s a necessary evil, though. But, sometimes it doesn’t get, since I have a constant urge to express the thoughts going through my head at that moment. So, sometimes the editing gets put aside for new stuff. I guess that’s a curse for whomever takes up writing as her first love (or was it Star Trek?)
Do you ever find yourself having trouble trimming back the words to get at the pith of what you’re really trying to say? Believe me, it gets easier with practice. But, not that much easier. Such is the writer’s life.
~ Amelia <3