Burning old journals
As I pack up my entire life, I discover that minimalism is a good thing. I don’t want to move all that crap with me from Florida to [place undisclosed at this time]. I’m learning to let go of things, which is pretty darn hard for a pack-rat/sentimental romantic like myself.
Old journals? Burned now. Hard as it was to toss them, I didn’t want to move all 50+ of them, only to never look at them again while they take up valuable shelf space. I tore out the pages that contained my most important memories from college and camp counselor summers or poems, allegories, etc. that deserved preserving, and kept my travel journals to Australia, South Africa, Europe and Australia trip #2, but otherwise, they’re all gone. The scrapbooks and photo albums come with me. The souvenirs from around the world will grace my living room with an international flair. But the other junk is going. Even some of my precious books are finding new homes. Something like 400 of them.
A trunk load of books I donated last week
Reflecting on these things, moving forward in my life, saying good-bye to long time dreams and possessions, I recognize the value of this kind of attitude in my writing as well. I did not keep those old notebooks where my high school writings stained the pages with tears and immaturity. I didn’t even look through the old ideas and jottings for books I’m still working on now. I’m an adult. Those scribblings no longer fit the maturity of my writing or person. So, I said “Farewell” and tossed them in the burning pile with my journals.
As I move forward in life, I expect my writing to move forward to. No longer the fanciful, day-dreaming romantic that hopes for the perfect anything. I’ve experienced too much of life–too much loss–to still look for that. And, I think, my writing benefits from that still hopeful, but no longer delusional little self’s passing away. Too many details bog down the story. Too much back-story burdens the reader. Too much clutter spoils the story’s forward movement, just like it ruins mine.
So, good-bye childhood. Good-bye adolescence. Good-bye college days.
Hello real world life. I’m Juanita. I’m going to write some powerful books about you. Nice to meet you.
My first book signing for “Nobody’s Girl” in July