But there have also been moments where I find something I don't remember writing, at least not in that "final" form, and I see something I can see my handiwork in - or better, something that has potential but I didn't have the chops to do right when I started it, but feel like I have enough tools in the box to be able to finish today. That's probably the most exciting moment.
So I'm sorting into three piles:
- Completed Writings - works that have been published or have had credible independent review (not that your opinion isn't important, Mom), plus some that I'm confident about. This is about half the work so far.
- Writings to Revise - works that have something interesting -a couple of interesting lines, a good idea poorly executed (which in my case usually means it's too long). This is about a third of the work.
- Old Writings - works that appeared in those early, forgettable, Poet's-Market-big-white-circle journals and are OK enough, but aren't interesting enough for immediate investment and which I wouldn't include in a submission package today. Some of these are candidates for the Revise pile, when it gets low enough. About a sixth of the work is in this bucket so far, but I have a feeling the remainder of the pile, which I've been slow in purging, is mostly headed for this category.
We'll see where it all winds up, but it's a good learning for me. Sharpening both my lens and my scalpel.