This really belongs under Cheryl’s post about memory but it’s a little long. Here’s the skinny —
I don’t want to remember what I’ve written. At all. I like to come to yesterday’s pages as if I’ve never seen them before. Forgetting is easy for me. I can remember the name of every horse that swept past the favorite and cost me money, but I look up the phone number of somebody I call all the time. I’ve always been this way. I don’t need more lecithin.
The other day I was e-chatting with a guy who wanted me to write a blog piece for him. He quoted passages from “Stoner & Spaz” and asked me how I made them so memorable. I said if I knew that I’d be rich and famous.
But I do know how I do it. A little bit, anyway. I’m a ruthless cutter, as most of you know. So when I barely remember yesterday’s work it’s easy to see what needs to stay and what should go. I’m a little like the surgeon who operates willingly on strangers but wouldn’t want to cut on somebody he loved.
Anyway, remembering everything reminds me of clinging. Koala bears cling and they’re cute, but they’re crappy writers. Don’t be a koala. Be a surgeon. The pay is better.
My husband and one of my sons have prodigious memories. They can both be hard to live with. I wasn't thinking Koala bears though. Burrs maybe?
It takes me days, weeks, to forget that I wrote something and to see it as a stranger would. And you're right, it's so helpful. Please send Ten Steps to Forgetting Your Own Work.
Man, I used to have that book. Now where did I put it…
Same here, Jackie. I cut, anyway, though (probably too soon, sometimes). My gut senses when I haven't written the truth. I've chucked many drawings and paintings for the same reason. Better words and pictures will come. That's one of the few truths I've believed my whole life.
Cutting. Yeah. How about spare to begin with and getting down to the bone?