COLUMN: Writing collection full of memories

Move to new home unearths boxes of written memories.

How did I get so much paper?

It’s the question I keep asking myself as I pack up box after box to move to my new home.

I have so much paper it’s insane.

I’ve had to carry box after box to the recycling bin. That bin got a lot of feedings this month as I continue to sort through the paper that has accumulated in the apartment I rented over the last four years.

Perhaps it’s the curse of a writer who likes to feel the flow of pen ink onto paper, instead of using the computer to write the majority of my own work.

Despite the volume of paper that went into the recycling bin, there is still a ton of paper that I am hanging onto.

I’ve found random thoughts scribbled on torn pieces of paper, or pieces of sticky notes, or in the margins of notebooks.

These thoughts have never been seen by the public eye. They are never read by anyone but me. I continue to work on them in my free hours.

But, I find as a reporter, when I come home sometimes the last thing I want to do is sit down and do more writing, even if it is for myself. For now, these thoughts remain in the pages of my personal books.

Perhaps, one day, when I feel they are complete I will attempt to share them. Perhaps those few paragraphs will become a book.

The tragedy is that when I neglect my own writing my work becomes more laboured.

Working on my own creations opens up a section of my mind that makes my feature reporting more creative and interesting.

I notice that if I don’t work on my own stuff at home, it becomes more difficult to put together a creative piece for the paper.

When I have done a lot of my own writing over several weeks, my creativity is unlocked and my newspaper pieces are more interesting, more concise and I am proud to have my name on them.

When I don’t, I feel my work isn’t at the level I want it to be.

Maybe that’s the curse of every writer. They don’t feel their work is ever good enough. I view my work in this manner when my I lack a personal creative outlet.

I’ve kept journals of writing since I was a child and cart them with me whenever I move.

I have a journal for high school and one for university. There is also a book full of thoughts written down in my working career.

It’s kind of nice to revisit the work I did when I was little and see how my style and voice have changed over the years.

The work also reminds me of different events in my life.

It always makes me a bit sad to come to a particular page in one of my secondary school journals.

One of my friends wrote her poem in my journal because we both loved poetry and she was willing to share.

That friend died a year later in a tragic accident. She slipped on a cliff face while hiking and fell to her death.

I view her poem scrawled in the book with a mixture of happiness and sadness. It’s a reminder of everything we had in common and a unique keepsake that I will never throw away.

She had a writer’s gift  and I often wonder what she would have done with that gift if she had lived.

Perhaps she would now be a famous author. Or maybe she would choose not to pursue the writer’s path at all.

But for now I have neatly packed her poem away into another little box with the rest of my writing, tied neatly with a black satin ribbon.

There are pages upon pages of scribbled thoughts that perhaps one day I will try to share with others.

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