I spent a few hours this afternoon reading through old stories that had been saved on my work computer over the years and which I emailed to myself my last day. Some of them I had completely forgotten about…the pirate novella I started over ten years ago after a breakup…the one and only screenplay I ever attempted as a means to impress an agent and author in an effort to option rights to a book…and a young adult book using all my childhood memories of living with my grandmother in the country for a year. Reading old material is always surprising and worrying.
First, I’m always pleasantly surprised by how creative I was…and witty, and good with language, and the amount of research I must’ve done. But then I worry that I won’t be able to write that well again! I mean, some pieces don’t even sound like me when I read them…they’re so clever and the language so fresh and just not how I see my writing now. The problem is that most of these pieces are unfinished, and in order to finish them I would need to recapture that language. An interesting dilemma.
I’m supposed to be working on my novel but tonight I’m going to see if I can remember how that screenplay was supposed to finish.