Have you ever had something that no matter how long you had it, no matter how worn or torn it is, you cannot get rid of it. We all do. I have been known to hang on to concert tees that are far beyond their usefulness (yeah, R.E.M’s Automatic For The People with many, many holes). I think I am even worse with some of my earliest writings. Take my song poem collection. I have over 100 song poems that I composed when I was between 13 and 15 years of age (yeah, that long ago). Just simple song lyric type poems. Nothing radical here. Just the deep soul searching musings of your average teenager. I may post some of these one day just for entertainment’s sake. See if one can guess which late 80’s influence goes with each poem.
I am about as sentimental with my early poetry and fiction pieces. Early is defined as the ones composed in my early 20’s, while I was a student in creative writing at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. I have published several of my poems from this early period of my life, but one fiction piece has not been sent out. Oh, yes, it was composed in 1999 and was sent out at least once in 2001, but that is it. I have looked at it within the last five months, and to be honest, it was not bad. It actually was well received in workshop back then, but I have held it back.
Why? I think a part of me refuses to let it go. Years ago, it was my star piece. It was going to be the BIG one, but after I stopped submitting for 14 years, it has lost its luster, and other darlings have replaced it. Now, though, is the time for me AND it to move on. I will be submitting it soon. One more proof and I will send it on to its first editor. Like a child leaving the nest, this achievement will be bittersweet.
Anyone else have such works (or things) they cannot let go of? If so, ask yourself why. Move it on its way and move yourself on, too.