We all have them. Unfinished stories. Pages of abandoned words, some purposely forgotten. Handsome Hansel talks about digging through old manuscripts and how it’s inspired him to keep writing.
Glad to have you back, HH!
As you may know, I’ve been MIA since my last contribution about eight weeks ago. I was supposed to submit a post last month but as life would have it, I slipped off the steps of my deck and snapped my wrist in two places.
I notified Carrie that I needed to bench myself as there was no way I could type. Well, I could, but I would probably just now be finishing it up. Even now, I’ve been downgraded from a cast to some medieval contraption that bear hugs my wrist all day and it’s a labor of love for me to type this out.
Now those of you who know me know I’m not one to cry “oh woe is me” so there must be a point to me telling you all of this.
I’m kidding! Since it was apparent I wouldn’t be able to write for at least six weeks I decided to immerse myself back into reading more. I read a number of my favorite authors newer titles to catch my reading up and of course felt even more inspired to write more. It was then I fired up Pages on my iPad and decided if I couldn’t type, I could at least go through all of the stories I’ve started to see which ones my be worth salvaging and which ones I’d have to finally euthanize.
I opened my App up and tapped on “Documents”. There before me was close to one hundred and fifty WIPs. Wow. Apparently I’ve got a lot of sh*t on my mind was the first thought that came to me. I hadn’t named most of them. They were listed as: Blank 47, Blank 48, Blank…
I picked one not so randomly: Blank 3 (my lucky number). My thinking was that, since it was a lower numbered entry, it would be one of my oldest attempts at writing. Here’s what popped up after the tap:
“Unconventional. That would be the polite description for it. An uphill battle fought on a daily basis against family, friends, and at times, even herself. Yet, she couldn’t deny the attraction. He wasn’t even remotely her type. Scrawny, tattooed, and pale as a cloud, he had won her over that day.”
It certainly wasn’t Shakespeare, David Foster Wallace or even Jackie Collins but I wanted to know more. I was intrigued. Drawn in.
Yet…there was nothing else. Without really thinking, I turned my iPad over as if turning a page looking for more. I reread it a few more times trying to remember when, how, and why I wrote it. I came up with nothing. My guess was I was sitting in a coffee house or mall with my iPhone in hand and saw something which inspired me to put those words down. Certainly with the intent of continuing their story later that evening when I was home and could write it.
I scoured the rest of my “Blank” pieces of digitized hope. I came across one which had these awful, awful two sentences:
“I’m not going to pick up where you left off. I’m going to begin where you should have begun.”
(Somebody pimp-slap me for that one please.)
I found this little gem in a document titled, “New Blog Post Ideas”. I remember starting that document when I started my website. Thank the higher powers that be I didn’t hit the ground running with this introduction:
“I’m intrigued with relationships. That’s not a secret. There are people out there who care about sick people (God Bless them). There are people out there who care about arresting people, putting out fires, and making sure your morning donut is as tasty as can be.”
I couldn’t hit the ‘delete’ button fast enough. (Pimp-slap again please…someone? Anyone?)
Luckily, I rediscovered some starter stories I am looking forward to typing through fruition. They may not be New York Times bestsellers but in my book they are good enough to try and get them there.
It’s an odd thing, going through old ‘writings’. I’ve read, reread, and reread my about to be published stuff but not the stuff I’ve tossed aside. I should never have done that nor should you.
In this day and age of “i” everything, we have access to our writing everywhere we go. We don’t have to wait until we get in front of a typewriter anymore. Break out the phone when you see a couple getting all mushy mushy at the end of the bar if it inspires you and tap out what you see. Just don’t make the mistake I did and let it lay dormant for over four years.
If you need inspiration, find it within what you’ve already written. You’ll surprise yourself with what you find. I certainly did. And you’ll rediscover stories you want to write (read) to completion.
FYI, for my ‘Blank 3’, I’ve given the names of Sadie and Dallas to the characters in those two paragraphs. It will be interesting to see where I take them.
I want to hear about your WIPs and lost children as well.
Have you rediscovered your writing through unfinished manuscripts?
On Thursday, September 4th, Renita D’Silva presents: Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned on the Path to Publication
Bio: Like most of us, I’ve been around the block a time or two (or three) in the relationship world. I like to think of myself as having a pretty thick skin, however, that skin doesn’t surround the heart.
I’ve been in love; I’ve been in lust. I’ve been hurt and got up to do it all again, each time having learned more of myself as well as “wants” and “don’t wants” for my next relationship. Amazingly enough, I never gave up on that one true love wrapped in Romance. You can visit me here, at http://thedanceofromanceonline.com
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