Mr. Peril’s post regarding drafts struck a bit of a chord with me, mainly because my draft count has been slowly creeping up. I’m sitting at 35ish at the moment, though that likely includes this one. It led me to consider what I have sitting in there and why I have it. There were a few trends that stood out.
A small number of them exist because I used the WordPress editor to hammer out a discussion assignment in an environment where I needed auto-save and easy access in case I got interrupted and didn’t get back to it. I typically delete these after posting, but there are a few stragglers. This group also includes a few odd items like the questions from the Massively OP application and my answers at the time.
Sort-of related to that, I have a few that hold quotes and/or snips of text from books and other places I thought were interesting enough to hold onto. Chances are high that I intended to use them in a post and didn’t want to try and track it down again later.
Naturally, there are some actual posts that are actually incomplete. In some cases, I wanted to remove large sections and made a copy in case I changed my mind, or just changed my mind and stopped. They vary in length from a single paragraph or less, all the way up to basically complete works. This also happens when my writing veered so far off the intended topic that I changed the title and started over.
There are, however, some “complete” posts sitting in there too, but ones I’m not likely to ever publish. One thing I’ve learned about my writing is that sometimes it functions as a coping mechanism itself. The process of writing a post helps me organize and identify ideas in a way that I occasionally need, but don’t feel like sharing. A few of my drafts are actually that. I had something on my mind that I needed to work through, and decided after writing it that it didn’t need to be released into the wild.
All of the oldest drafts fall into that last group. In fact, the oldest draft is untitled and appears to be about my opinion on religion and how I got there. I ultimately decided that society at large did not want, need, or benefit from my input on this matter, so it sits there gathering dust.
Then there are a few that appear to be complete and for whatever reason just never got published. Maybe I was holding onto them for a rainy day and just… forgot. It happens.
The upside to all this is that I have some decent material in there that could serve to inspire me in the future or cover the less inspired days with only a quick re-read and edit to make sure it’s not too stale.
In the spirit of draft posts, I shall leave you with an abridged and edited version of one of my favorite book snippets. This is from Terry Pratchett’s Unseen Academicals.
[Verity] reached down and picked a crab out of a bucket. As it came up it turned out that three more hanging on to it.
“Oh, that’s crabs for you.” said Verity, “Thick as planks, the lot of them. That’s why you can keep them in a bucket without a lid. Any that tries to get out gets pulled back. Yes, as thick as planks.”
Crab bucket, thought Glenda as they hurried towards the Night Kitchen. That’s how it works. People from the Sisters disapproving when a girl takes the trolley bus. That’s crab bucket. Practically everything my mum ever told me, that’s crab bucket. Practically everything I’ve ever told Juliet, that’s crab bucket, too. Maybe it’s just another word for the Shove. It’s so nice and warm on the inside that you forget that there’s an outside. The worst of it is, the crab that mostly keeps you down is you… The realization had her mind on fire.
A lot hinges on the fact that, in most circumstances, people are not allowed to hit you with a mallet. They put up all kinds of visible and invisible signs that say “Do not do this” in the hope that it’ll work, but if it doesn’t, then they shrug, because there is, really, no real mallet at all. Look at Juliet talking to all those nobby ladies. She didn’t know that she shouldn’t talk to them like that. And it worked! Nobody hit her on the head with a hammer.
Y’all take care, and watch out for that crab bucket, yeah?
Hey, it’s Blapril time! The goal is to simply promote and stimulate the blogging community by encouraging people of all skill levels and backgrounds to post. The official post can be found here and it’s never too late to start.