Reading Old Work

For those who considering themselves poets or creative writers, have you ever gone back and read things you wrote from a year, two years or three years ago and thought, “what the hell was I on?!” I did that. Just now. I’ve learned two things: 1. My writing a year and a half ago was appalling and 2. I was in a dark, dark place.

Writing is a reflection, as someone just told me, and it’s absolutely true. Writing is a catharsis. It’s something that I do in order to alleviate myself of my thoughts, or stress, or situations. I have a blog that is hidden – password protected suckers! – that I use to write in to help cope with all of the emotions that had been swimming around inside my head for months. I’ve not written in it since March, but it was a place where I wrote poems and short stories. I, for whatever reason, decided to go back and look through some entries today and found that I was a very disturbed little person. I wrote a short story called “Captured” that I shared with a few people when I wrote it – namely that of Paul and Susie, both whom shared short stories with me, too – and other people that I felt would appreciate literature. What I’ve come to realize, however, is that literature that I speak of sucked donkey balls.

Another thing that I’ve come to appreciate is how, despite their sucking, the stories have potential to morph into something strong. They all have good basis, but they lacked strength in a lot of areas which made them hard to read. I think my new goal is going to be to edit them, individually, one by one and see what comes from them. I’ve never been much of a poet, and my poems that I wrote  are not worth fixing, but my short stories are. I guess I’ve never been much of a poet as I found that out this past summer in my poetry class. I love reading poetry, but I’m terrible at writing it.

Writing has become a part of me and it’s very much composed of who I am. It’s my way of expression, just like my nervous habit is to talk a lot when I’m nervous. Most people retreat – I just sit there and chatter away. I’m an odd child, what can I say, but it’s part of who I am and I’m thinking writing is, too. It was evident in my short stories that I was looking for an out – a rebirth, a new beginning. I wanted to start over and I felt like I was a prisoner in my own life. Captured illustrated this more than any of my other work. I had some short stories about falling in love with someone and being swept away like the wind blows the sand on the shore – those stories make me want to barf. But then I have these stories that are so ostentatious and surreal that I’m loving re-reading. They are a little creepy, but I remember what I was feeling when I wrote them, and I know how I feel now. I think that the juxtaposition between my life a year ago and now can only strengthen this story.

I’m excited. I’m going to re-write it. I’m going to make it better, I hope.

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