I’ve never been much an editor, much less an archivist. That said, I’ve always bucked against my own leanings and biases; felt like I should be a more dutiful steward to what I’ve inherited, what I’ve created even as I constantly turn towards the new. But I’ve been around too many ‘idea men’ to have much respect for people who claim to be ‘good at beginnings’ (ie, in love with their own ideas) who shirk the hard work of implementation, of reifying vision.
But I’m probably one of them, truth be told.
I start much, much more than I finish. And ‘finishing’ for me is often a stillborn abandonment, flinging the misbegotten creation out in the world to shiver in the cold as I turn to the brain children who haven’t yet had the chance to disappoint me. I dislike promotion (though I’m ok at it) dislike curating my writing, polishing, filing it properly.
And it’s an open question, what do I owe my past creations, or what do I owe my past generally? As I mentioned a while back, I stand on a pile of dead selves who all made their own art, lived their own lives. How much of their bequest do I need to order and keep?
I don’t like reading what I’ve written, its cringe half-life is something I fear. And this instinct to turn away… there’s probably something here for me. Maybe, the way to think about it, the first drafter, the editor, the marketer, the archivist; these are all different guys who each have their own moment. They’re fond of each other, respect one anothers’ strengths, but each have their moment of command, of control.
I guess the first step would be to really look at what I think I want to do, what I’ve done, and go from there.
The first step is always to look and listen, without judgement, with as much gentle love as you can muster, and figure out where to go from there. Which is a lesson I’ll need to relearn again and again before I’m through.