Great article today courtesy of HTML Giant called “It’s Okay to Hug Your Ten Years Ago Writing Self,” which highlights some of the emotional ups and downs of revisiting old writing (not unlike seeing old pictures of people you forgot you used to date). Favorite quote from the article:
At the time, I was a pack a day smoker (and how I miss it). My characters smoked a disturbing amount and used cigarettes and the smoking, waving about, ashing, and extinguishing thereof as a way to insert a little action into “serious” conversations and emotional situations. They smoked in cars, on balconies, while pregnant, after shooting heroin, on road trips, at rest areas, in a lawyer’s office, at a strip club, in a bathtub, while sitting on the toilet, while sitting on the bathroom counter, on the balcony again.
Thus, as the Literary Man rests his keyboard / typewriter after cranking out a readable draft of his novel, he ponders his next move, something that he hopes will turn out like Michael Jordan’s brief stint with the Birmingham Barons in 1993 after winning the NBA Championship: an enjoyable diversion, without any bridges burned, that will allow the mind and body to rest up for the next season / draft, which might end up being the one.
God, one of the best selling authors of all time, has allowed the writing of at least one hundred different versions of his magnum opus to exist. But the Bible’s the kind of book that warrants the rewrites.
Maybe there’s no right / wrong answer to this; maybe it’s time to get back to that novel from college, which at the very least will provide some Jordan-esque entertainment before resuming the unending task of rewriting the epic novel.