I Used to Write Many Letters
In 2016, I began my writing adventure. Until that time, I had written a few short stories, some jokes, four miserable patents, and many technical documents. I didn’t consider writing to be a core skill. At best, I considered it to be a tool to help me communicate to known audiences.
Three weeks ago, I cleaned a fireproof case in order to make room for a backup hard drive. Since our house robbery, I’ve become slightly paranoid about backups. Side story into my paranoia. I have: a dual drive that I update every other week (I place it in our “house safe,”) an unreliable backup drive (in another safe,) a “naked” drive in the fireproof case (that I do not intend to update often,) a backup drive at my parent’s house in their safe (that I back up every three years) and an archive folder on my computer “D drive” (that I never remember I have.) Well, at least I’m not burying backup drives in the middle of nowhere… Hmm, that gives me an idea.
My fireproof case contained around 500 pages of hand-written letters from the age of 15-20. I wrote the bulk of these to my girlfriend and kept photocopies of the originals. Why did I keep all these letters and make photocopies? Hmm. Now, this paranoia of multiple hard drives makes a little more sense.
My motivation for shredding the letters came out of the fear of dying. I didn’t want my family to read my personal thoughts from that young age. Why? I have moved on to better challenges. In typical Bill logic, I found all the pages to be in great shape, well organized and stapled together.
As I shredded, I read several pages, and the content shocked me. They contained deep well communicated feelings. I took a deep dive into ideas about life, inventions, the future, friends, events of the day and my passions. I had no idea that I used to write with so much intensity.
I compared these “raw” letters to my present writing, and they looked remarkably similar. I had a knack for freely expressing, opinions and my passions. My style of conveying thoughts followed the same patterns, I used the same verbs and the same overall sentence structure. Yet, I uncovered many differences. Young Bill could not spell to save his life, had no grammar ability, created sentences to nowhere, and he wrote with a limited (repetitive) vocabulary. This is to be expected from a young writer. Side note. My handwriting has degraded.
Writer Bill existed back then. He had passion, drive, and a positive future attitude. He wanted to make a big impression on the world and felt his mind contained all the tools to do so. These vivid descriptions impressed me with their bold attitudes.
I didn’t expect these pages to have any substance and I now understand the source of my writing passion. I began as a good writer. I suppose I knew this fact and didn’t accept my ability for an unknown reason. Side note. When I told my mother that I wanted to write a book, she said, “You were always a great writer.”
Writers require core talent to write anything of substance. They also require passion or at least a healthy respect for the topic. I wrongly assumed that my passion is a recent occurrence.
You’re the best -Bill
July 03 2019
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