I used to write with a pen. Now I write with scissors, no longer afraid to eliminate long passages or whole chapters I once invested days or months in. Gone is the sentiment which used to demand those words remain. No, we see what we wrote in earlier years for what it is.
My latest piece of writing drained me heavily. Emotionally and physically. I wrote the first draft in 1996, some twenty-five years ago. I no longer relate to those characters or their immature angst, but for the sake of reinvigorating my once-abandoned novel, I had to occupy their world again, filling my head with their blues and anxiety. That process carried me back there, depositing on my head a heavy depression.
The latest draft is now complete, for now. It must now hang for a while to season and mature, to be returned to in a few months to be reconsidered perhaps. Maybe it will never see the light of day. Who knows? I have exited its little world, to return to reality.
This evening, I sifted through a pile of other manuscripts started but never finished over the past twenty years. I thought I might find another project to sink my teeth into, but the scissors just danced about on the page, rejecting my files wholesale. Even words penned just three years ago grate with me now.
Perhaps the time has come to start anew. Or perhaps the time has come to admit: no, I am no writer at all.