The unwritten story
What is it about a story that makes it worthy of publishing? Should it make a statement? Should it provoke thought? Should it illicit an emotional response? The answer should be yes to as many of those as possible.
I have quite a few unwritten stories. Drafts of ones that I wrote when I was upset or sad or happy or any other emotion that makes us put words down in digital form. For the kiddos out there we used to put things down on paper with a thing called a pen. How many draft stories do you have in your queue? Do you delete them?
I did something today that I would have never thought twice about doing a decade ago. I deleted a draft. I took my words that I poured my soul into and with two mouse clicks, made them go away forever. Some of us might consider that murder or a mortal sin.
Thankfully I have begun to learn the art of letting some things go. The words that I had typed up were just not up to a standard that I have grown to put upon myself. They were disorganized and disjointed and just did not make any sense. They may have to someone but they were just not up to par for my style these days.
This makes me wonder something. These words that I put down are a part of who I am. I deleted them from existence. Is this any different from discarding a body part that does not work anymore? I think it has some similarities but not many. Words and thoughts are meant to be transient. They do not have a physical form. They only become tangible in a loose sense when they are written down on paper or digital form.
Therefore, my writing about the strange service I received at a restaurant is not something that I will miss. It may have been funny but it is more of a story that has to be spoken in the moment. Most likely when I am sitting at a table with family and friends telling stories of service gone wrong.
I am not going to make it a habit of deleting my drafts. There could be some future words for the ages in there. I am just going to make sure that the ones that I do delete are ones that don’t need the power of publication.