We’ve been talking a lot about editing lately, so I thought this would be a good time to talk about making things disappear (and my timing couldn’t be better, following Selma’s post).
I just deleted a blog I’d had for about five years. That blog contained stories of my life and my family, the ups and downs of attempting to juggle writing with raising kids. But, after the divorce and subsequent gaining of a partner, writing that blog was no longer a labor of love, it was just a labor.
It began as an outlet for the funny stuff that happened, or at least my humorous take on the everyday. In those virtual pages, I documented everything from my middle son’s first kiss, to my baby’s graduation from high school. As I went through the posts, each event replayed itself in my mind, bringing tears and laughter.
Then, I deleted it.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
It is also one of the best things I could have done.
That life is no longer mine. I have a fresh, new life, one that deserves its own blog with its own style.
I’ve been looking at some of the files on my computer and thinking about doing the same thing. Letting them go. My writing has changed, my style and direction are new. I will not pursue publication for those pieces, for I don’t think I could muster the support for them that I once had.
Which leads me to this: keep your writing fresh. Hanging on to old (unpublished) works can be fun, but don’t let it hold you back from trying new directions. Give yourself permission to relaunch and re-identify yourself if the time is right.
Even published authors do it (they might even get a new name to go with their new direction). Don’t be afraid to explore new directions. You just might be surprised at what a little housekeeping can do for your writer’s soul.