Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Out With the Old Ideas by Darlene Beck Jacobson

 It's small, made of wood, with two drawers. Functional, unassuming, and some might even say institutional.

But make no mistake. Inside those drawers are the hopes, dreams, and plans of a writer. 

                            Early drafts from pre-publication days.

                                Small press short story successes. 

                                File after file of failed manuscripts.

                            All saved with the thought that maybe they can be 




Into what exactly has never been clear or to the point. The point is they showed the efforts of putting pen to paper. Failures though they may be, they were a foundation this writer used to build success.

                                But maybe success can be found in other ways. 

                                        In a favorable review of our work

                             In a workshop to teach want-to-be-authors the craft

                       When someone's enthusiasm for our books get passed along. 

File by file, piece by piece, I am going through these relics. As I read each one, I appreciate the struggles, and earnest hopefulness of a writer who wants to share her stories with the world. 

                        Savoring the memories of how the stories were inspired

                                        smiling at a lovely turn-of-phrase

               recognizing a character with potential who might shine in another time and place 

Tucking these bits aside, out with the rest.

The result may not be a completely empty file cabinet, but it will definitely lay to rest the notion that everything needs to be saved. In case. 

The dead manuscript boat has sailed. But the hopes, dreams, and plans of a writer are still on shore, ready to board another boat.

                    casting into new waters, 

                    searching for new ideas,

            unanchored and unburdened by the old.

Won't you set sail with me? There's a whole new world to wonder and write about.

May all our voyages be ones of discovery.

Darlene Beck Jacobson has had more than a few laughs and groans reading some of her old, abandoned manuscripts. She is working on new projects from her home in NJ.

1 comment:

  1. FILING CABINETS!!!! Those are the best. I have a couple full of nothing but ideas.