So, now that the page proofs for Accordion Dreams are safely in the hands of my publisher, I've been breaking in the new shredder.
I've been going through my writing files--eight years worth. I had saved everything, going back to my first creative nonfiction class, when I decided to take my music writing seriously. I kept copies of everything I wrote in that first class, in subsequent writing groups, and then on my own, when I realized I was writing a book.
I'm probably not alone in keeping hard copies of early incarnations of book chapters (even though they also exist on computer hard drives, someplace or other.)
But here's what may be a little excessive: I've saved hard copies of every bit of written feedback I've received. Not just from the instructor, but from fellow students and writing peers. Even after some of those early essays have been through multiple revisions and found a place in the book. Somehow I was afraid to let go. What if I wanted to retrace my steps? Figure out how I got from there to here? Reflect one more time on the wisdom of my writing peers?
It's a long path to publication, especially for the obsessive!
But I figure it's time to let go. I'm keeping the rejection letters, the early versions of the book outline, the various incarnations of the proposal.
But from those early writing attempts, I'll allow myself one clean copy, and one copy with comments from my writing mentor.
First, of course, I had to reread everything. Strange, to reread my early primitive efforts. Peculiar to pore over comments from people I barely recall.
My husband volunteered to do some shredding while he watches the game on television.
It's a bittersweet song, somehow, the music of the shredder. But it's time.
Causes Blair Kilpatrick Supports
Louisiana Folk Roots, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Habitat for Humanity/Musician's Village New Orleans, Doctors Without Borders