Communing with the protagonist of the early 90s novel I dropped has made it tempting to resume writing her. But it's also cautioned me to avoid perpetuating a sort of creative A.D.D.
I think it’s part of being a writer/artist to have many things started and unfinished, actually! I’ve sold cartoons after ten years of forgetting them, then thinking them over. Some tweaked, some not. I hear of many writers that have abandoned works in old computers, etc. I think you’re just perfectly in character! Don’t sweat it, I think!
In my 20s, I taught writing workshops for gifted and talented elementary mostly inner-city kids in Tacoma and Oak Harbor, Washington. While doing research on what giftedness means, which those programs defined as IQ scores, I learned that highly creative and gifted kids tend to have many many many interests, each of which they can become profoundly absorbed in. I encouraged them to pursue all their joys. It seems our society defines success as the pursuit of a single linear goal. What you do is a gift to the world.
On the side of the front leg of my antique schoolteacher’s desk I use for writing, I have a collection of old lanyards from symposiums, workshops, and the like. Attached to each of these, couched on separate 2Gig thumb drives, are a bunch of unfinished stories.
Occasionally, I rifle the drives to see if a story stored there intrigues me. I look them over and think about continuing them.
Perhaps I'll finish the story of Gunny Nathan, the Retired Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant turned truck driver being chased around the country by drug cartels. Or maybe I'll resurrect Charlie Santino. The con man out to bilk a small town by convincing them they are the perfect place to build a corncob-to-plastics plant.
I consider it, then I hang them up and go back to typing what my imaginary friends tell me.
Meanwhile, with novel number nine in the can this week, I'm waiting to see what my imaginary friends think up next.
Dear Sari: Same. My character was 18 when I first started the novel...I think she's in her 30s now. And I still love her... and/but. Thanks for this post. I don't feel so alone in my indecision now.
I love this perspective on having half-finished projects around https://vm.tiktok.com/ZGJsBFqYo/
There should be a novel where all our unfinished characters can call home! While I have many old computers in the closet, I am suddenly grateful none of them smell like hazelnut coffee. Thanks for sharing your appearance on KVR, & good luck w yr essay!
You've triggered my worst trauma. The day I spilled coffee into the keyboard of my MacBook Air and lost everything. I love that you came back to a novel you started and said "Hey, this is pretty good!" So much better than coming back to something you wrote and saying, "Hey, that's sure sucked." Seriously, my life journey is always about making friends with some former version of my self, holding her tenderly, with compassion and forgiveness. "Damn, you sure tried hard didn't you?" Have an awesome trip.
I would do something that you could finish (giving you a sense of accomplishment) while on your trip, like the essay. It would then be part of the memory of the trip with your friend.