Tuesday, 5 February 2013

IWSG post: keeping track and what you leave

I had an odd moment the other day when I received a copy of the small print publication 'Garbaj' through the post. There was an old piece of mine in it, and I couldn't for the life of me remember sending it off to them. I assume I must have. People who use your work without you sending it to them tend to focus on rather more famous people, and very rarely send complementary copies to the people involved.

Yet it's raised a point about writing, and that is that these pieces are in the world. They continue to be in the world after you've sent them out. They have your name on. So are you proud of everything you have ever put your name to? There might come a point, a hundred or two years from now, when some bored PhD student is sifting through the archives of this early 21st century explosion in minor zines, or even ebooks, and they'll come across your work, or mine. Have you ever stopped to think about what they'll see?

6 comments:

Cherie Reich said...

I hadn't had a problem of forgetting that I sent something out there, but I do know what you mean. What will people think of our writing when they come across it decades from now? There are some things I wish I could redo, but I'm sure all authors feel that way.

Susan Kane said...

At this point, I am hoping they will see even an envelope with my name on it. Discouraged.

Julie Flanders said...

I never thought about this but I know there are some things I would redo if I could. Sometimes when I look at my first attempts at writing stories I really cringe. It must have been a weird feeling to get this piece in the mail!

Stopping by from the IWSG - great to meet you!

L.G. Smith said...

I've thought about some of the crap I've left on my blog, mostly in the comments section. LOL.

But the thing I most worry about is the stuff writers leave behind when they die. Like the unfinished, unrevised stuff. There's always someone who goes through those famous writers' things and pulls an old, unpublished manuscript out of a drawer, thinking he'll cash in. Gah. What writer wants his unpolished, bad first draft published for all the world to see?

Pauline Wiles said...

I know some of my early blog posts are less than stellar, but most things I've actually "sent" somewhere have been okay...
If my husband were here, he'd tell us to quit worrying, coz we're all dead, so what does it matter? ;)
And I think that's fine, unless you plan to have grandchildren who will be easily embarrassed...

Christine Rains said...

I do sometimes wonder what people might think, even what my son might think in the years to come. Yet though I might tweak a few things, I'm happy with what I've put out there.