When I recently found myself bored with my current writing projects, my brother suggested that I start something completely new, and set aside all the “old” stuff I’d been working on.
He said “You don’t need to suffer the discouragement of being rejected. After all, you’re a different person now and a lot more experienced.” How true!
Back in the day of typewriters, ribbons, and carbon paper (yes, I’m that old), sliding a fresh sheet of paper between the rollers always gave a sense of new possibilities. There were times I used one piece of carbon paper so long that it was almost in shreds. And a new ribbon with freshly cleaned keys (remember the smell of that cleaning fluid?) made the manuscript look crisp.
There is something cleansing to see a pile of wadded up paper on the floor after numerous fresh starts.
When word processors finally came into being, there were many articles in writing magazines about whether that would change the way authors write. The consensus seemed to be that it would take away our creativity! There may have been something to those worries.
I love having a legal-sized yellow pad handy beside me in the car for scribbling down notes as ideas pop into my head. That is still the most reliable way for me to capture those fleeting thoughts. Sure, I have a cell phone that takes notes when I’m not near my laptop, but nothing beats the old-fashioned convenience of a pen or pencil and paper.
There is at least one book I’m reading in each room (or in the car or in my purse) accompanied by a small notebook and pen for seizing inspirations.
Sometimes starting a fresh new page is the necessary impetus for many things in life, isn’t it? New curtains, rearranging the furniture, or even a new house brings new energy. Each new semester of school brought hope of brilliant and eager students, although I enjoyed most of my “old” students, as well. Fresh soil in planting beds brings anticipation of new growth.
Perhaps someday, I will return to the “old” written stuff and recognize its worth – or its worthlessness!
As the year 2021 draws to a close, what of the “old” do we need to set aside to allow room for the “new” to flow into our lives?
A hui hou!