Are you hoarding your writing? It's obvious when notebooks and journals are stockpiled and you find them everywhere. Then you, my friend, are hoarding your writing.
- Other questions to ask yourself are: Have you written for years, but never shown it to anyone?
- Have you written so much that it's much to the dismay of your movers?
Well everyone, I'm raising my right hand. "My name is Laurie Epps and I am a self proclaimed hoarder of my writing." Ok, I feel better. I got that off my chest. But it's true. I've been writing since I was seven years old, and it wasn't until recently that any of it has ever seen the light of day.
To your left, is just one of the many bookshelves around my house full of notebooks and journals. They are all full of original material written by yours truly. I wasn't aware I was doing this until recently, when some industry professionals pointed my one biggest secret.
During my first full-blown writers conference last month, Michelle Medlock-Adams saw right through my charade. I was almost embarrassed that I was always observing people from a very young age and writing about it. What has happened to all that writing? I can see within the last seven years how much writing I have done and in a physical form. I think I'd need a separate house to house all the writing I've done over the course of my lifetime.
A purist, I like to really connect with my writing and do most of my compositions first in pen. College has been especially grueling because there are so many deadlines so close together, there often isn't time for a handwritten draft. But it doesn't keep me from doing it, in fact, sometimes it just means I'm doing it faster.
To the right you'll see one of my many overwhelming piles of typed material. It's incredible to me that I could even begin to write that much. It's crazy! Furniture is now being converted to house all my work, and I'm not kidding when I tell you that.
What's next? For me, I'm going to start going through it. I'm going to have to start reworking some of the material, or sending some of it off because it's been worked to death.
My new mantra is no guts, no glory.
I'll never know if it's relevant or any good if no one sees it.
But I'll confess, doubt is torture. If I believed in it, this hoarding wouldn't have happened in the first place. I'd already have all this material out there someplace. That's where I think the community of writers comes in. We need to encourage our hoarder friends to unleash their talents on an unsuspecting world. Are you with me?
Now it's your turn. Are you hoarding your writing? What are you going to do to change that? If you were a hoarder, we especially want to hear from you. Pave the way for the rest of us. We need to encourage each other. Join the conversation, the Write Conversation.
Laurie Epps is a hoarder of her writing. She is most heavily published as a feature writer, essayist and poet. Pictured here with Michelle Medlock Adams. A seeker of beauty, her is dream is to travel the world one day and tell their many stories. To read more of Laurie's stories visit her Monday Morning Book Club column dedicated to writers everywhere, or her Thoughtful Thursday column dedicated to the art of Poetry at: http://1writerlaurieepps.blogspot.com