Works in Regress

This is going to be a relatively-compact post for a change. Because sometimes, there’s just too much left to do. Strangely enough, this often results in not being done at all. I’ve got a few potential articles wandering through the grey mass upstairs; but when push comes to shove, I usually don’t feel like writing those. Rarely will I start writing something without finishing it within the same “writing session”; rather, I’ll delete the whole thing only to give it another shot at another time.

Come to think of it, that’s probably why I’ve had so much trouble writing something resembling a book: it’s impossible to write an entire book front to end without taking breaks (even for an insomniac). As a result, you’ll find yourself reviewing your previous work every so often (which is good, although one might get stuck in a recursive procedure of rewriting already-rewritten work… No wait, let me re-phrase that… No wait, let’s not go down that road), encountering the inevitable gap between yesterday’s ingeniousness and today’s writer’s block.

Connecting loose ends can be problematic; it’s easier to just throw all of them away and buy a new rope. But the physical destruction of “failed” works is not something I’d personally recommend – sometimes a “loose” end can be the “perfect” end, after all: it can act as a testament to the difficult nature of the subject at hand (resulting in disfigured sentences like this one) or serve as an eye-opener at later times.

Just yesterday night I was browsing through some unfinished late-puberty musings (yeah, I tend to do that quite a lot) and found a few letters to-no-one-in-particular – some of them (more or less) ready for distribution, others not so much. The fact remains that these letters have never been sent to anyone, and as such represent “loose ends” by themselves. They’re playful remnants of my life’s dust rag; it serves no use to actually distribute (“finish”) these useless bits and strings any more, but – much like one’s beloved yet long-gone pet’s hairs – it feels good having them around still, somehow.

Having said that, as long as your pet’s still alive, there’s no point in letting all that hair go to waste. Making it do the same tricks every day can get a bit tiresome, which is why a slight pause in between writing sessions can act as a breathe of fresh air – but don’t procrastinate until it’s too late; you’ll end up fetching your own toys, to no-one’s amusement in particular. Summarize what’s left to do, bring out the vacuum cleaner and get rid of the dustiest, most-incoherent bits first. At the end of your run, those pieces too large to fit in the dust bag are the ones you’d want to inspect a bit more carefully. There’s a few good stories left in those, probably.

By all means, though – if something important, particularly-thoughtful or topical pops up in your mind: yield! You don’t want that kind of stuff to end up as tiny specks of fragmented nonsense; not while it still holds some value within its current time-frame. But once you’re done with all that, go back to splitting hairs – while you still remember which of those belong to which of your previous pets.

…now to think of a decent ending for an article on “banishment”… Maybe I’ll just mail a few letters first.

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