I’m thinking about how much I’ve written on this blog in its fairly short life. When else have I written like this? The other comparable time I suppose was in college when I wrote stacks of papers for classes. I recall very distinctly thinking the two keys to academic success were the ability to memorize – oh baby could I memorize! – and the ability to write.
My game plan was to get good grades in order to get scholarships and grants – no loans – so that I ultimately graduated from a state college with no debt, which now sounds bizarre even to me. I had no job lined up and floundered about doing half-assed part-time jobs wellllll below my abilities, having nothing to do with my nice Liberal Arts Bachelor’s, for some subsequent time, so it’s a good thing I had no debt. [Insert ironic face.]
Because I’d put so much work into producing them, what with all the research, editing, and re-writing, I hung onto those papers long after graduation. I started to whittle away the pile gradually. It is hard to let go of anything you’ve put a lot of effort into, no matter what it is (you can quote me on that). But it’s not like a publisher was going to be clamoring to publish them, or anybody else was likely to take an interest. Hell, even I wasn’t so gung-ho to go through them. Yet I did, tossing most in the end. Did I save one or two? I think so, but the overwhelming bulk hit the recycle bin.
I’m not sorry. I don’t miss them. They served their purpose in their time. Old college papers helped get me a debt-free degree, which I’ll always have. I didn’t need the actual papers any more. The writing I’m doing now – here – is very different. It’s exactly the kind of writing I need, WANT, to be doing now.