Louise Couper
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I am de-cluttering.  The advice is to do one room at a time, one specific thing at a time – for example, books, clothes or documents.  In my case, it is manuscripts, short stories and short, what I like to think of as humorous, pieces from my time in Toastmasters.  Some of these are not publishable; others need some editing.  Although I don’t think I am a hoarder, I am loathe to put any writing on the bonfire.  Even the worst story took time and effort and, like the bits and pieces a neighbour buys in pound shops, it may come in useful one day.
My aim in going through all this slow torture is to clear my writing space and therefore my head so that the next story has room to grow and develop, in the same way that weeding the onion bed allows the bulbs to fatten and mature.
But oh, the present is filled with the agony of realising that a novel I thought had no legs in fact has many; that a script I discarded as being ‘too amateur’ is actually not bad and a play I felt lacked backbone now reads amusing enough to have me laughing my head off.  Dear, oh dear.
I am not alone.  Virginia Woolf in her diary describes her joy at the success of ‘Kew Gardens’ which ten days previously she had been in despair about.
Was my excessive scrupulosity in selecting what I sent out to the world a piece of silliness on my part?  Perhaps I ought to have taken a twig from a friend’s tree.  So thrilled was she with her first painting that she had it framed and hung on the wall as soon as the paint was dry.  I would have been more critical and put it away, waited till my skills were more carefully honed and that elusive masterpiece sprang from the brush.  This may never happen, of course, and, like my friend, we may as well enjoy what gives us pleasure.