Friday, January 31, 2014

Burn the drafts!

A recurrent problem exposed with each move: what to do with the accumulated drafts and discards and works-in-progress--boxes and file drawers and binders filled with hundreds--nay, thousands... many thousands of pages--writing that goes back more than 40 years (most of it, from the last 27 years). Why do I save this stuff? Do I harbor secret dreams of donating it to some University Library? 63 volumes of journals. Some 2 million words. Do I imagine anyone will ever want to read them? That there are of any value to anyone but me? And then, really only the journals and finished work that are of any contemporary interest.

Oh you young writers and poets, in your 30's and 40's and 50's, what forests will be felled to fill torn cardboard boxes, brittle dessicated file folders in your basements, closets and attics? Or do writers and poets now store it all in distant binary cloud banks and thumb drives... or those smart phones I see you holding at your readings?.

What a jolly funeral pyre all that paper would make! My poor sons, having to wade through this stuff. I think, one more move will be enough to convince me to fill a half dozen blue recycling bins and be done with it.

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