For thirty some odd years I was a prolific writer. I wrote a lot of poems, then short stories. With the publication of a book of letters written along with two friends I spring boarded into writing short stories and on to grad-school for an MFA in Writing. I wrote or at least began many novels and also non-fiction books chronicling my life.
I was honored with a fellowship to The Millay Colony for the Arts twice, and also Dorland Art Colony in CA. (the Dorland link is slow to load. Also, man have they spruced the rooms up since I was there!)
I had many short stories published, one book of non-fiction and one novel.I wrote features for the local newspaper. I gave numerous readings and was on local cable TV a number of times. I taught creative writing for adults in the evenings at the Cape Cod Community College.
It was a life, for sure. I havent written much recently. My brain has changed and the sort of focus needed to do this complex activity is not there. This week I sorted through four liquor store boxes (no it's not what you think!) full of manuscripts. I now have three bags full of pages to take to the recycling center.
Some of these are just duplicates of stories for which I kept the original. Many were typed on a typewriter so are not in the computer. Some are novel beginnings that I am sure I will never go back into. I am lightening the burden for me and for my son.
I still have three boxes full of novels and stories and also the publication contracts and notes for various writings. I also came upon a forgotten chronicle of the years 2004-05, 200 pages worth. I kept this as it tells of my having to leave 217 Country Road to be wandering without a beloved home for 7 years. This I may try to rework as the story is still going on. Maybe my feeble brain can find a pattern and reshape and newly shape something from this material.
It is hard for a writer to give up early works and works in progress. I may need a phrase or character from these pages. Ha! On the other hand, I feel relieved to have reduced this material. At another point in time I have even more material I can look through. A book of love letters I put together. I have about 4 drafts of that Mss.
Onward to whatever is next.