I have this problem of managing all the things I create or buy.
Once upon a time, I was a real hoarder — the mantra was “never throw anything away, never let an idea go”. I realised that I ran the risk of keeping too much stuff and not having the room for it all.
These days, I like keeping the number of clothes I own on the low side, because it makes it much easier to decide what to wear on a given day. At any given time, my wardrobe is like a “best of” of all the clothes I’ve ever owned. If I get something new and I don’t like it as much as something that’s old, then it tends to find its way to the charity shop quicker.
When you have eighty-five pieces of poetry, it’s like having a cluttered wardrobe. There’s some stuff that you really like, some that you don’t like much, some stuff that you used to like now but wonder what you were thinking, and so on. So, with clothes, I try keep only things that I really like by doing a periodic cull. But when it comes to art (whether photos or poetry), I just don’t feel right getting rid of it. It’s stronger than that, actually: it feels wrong. On the other hand, I also feel like some of it just cruft cluttering up the world.
I have no idea why this is the case. Do I worry too much about keeping a record of the past? Would I really be losing anything if I went back and clicked “delete” on old poetry which doesn’t mean anything to me anymore? On some level, is deleting old poetry or unfinished ideas which will never be finished the same to me as deleting my past or my potential in the future?
I’m considering putting together “best of” categories which link the poems thematically or chronologically together, but even if I do that, there’s still that feeling of some of it just being cruft that might as well get chucked out. I wonder if I’ll ever find a solution.
(I’ve been meaning to make this a real blog for a while. That means linking to other sites, writing regularly, acquiring regular readers, possibly using a spellchecker, and perhaps posting more than just poetry. This post represents the beginning of trying that, though I’m aware I’ve done none of the above except the last one yet.)