I recently had the opportunity to re-visit articles and pieces I wrote as a contributor for a local newspaper. This kind of activity is not one for the faint of heart. Mostly it feels rather nostalgic to see what you were thinking, doing and believing at certain moments in time – in other ways once you begin actually reading what you’ve written, the urge to ‘take it back’ or re-write it is very strong. I’ve had this happen with more than one form of writing, whether it be a short fictional piece, an article or even a journal entry. And it got me thinking that what we believe is a great piece of work today will always have room for improvement in the future.
Why does this happen? Well I believe that we are only as good as our perspective, circumstances and belief systems allow and until you gain more experience, changes in your perspective and adjustments to your belief system you won’t obtain enough distance to truly ‘see’ your own work. Which makes me wonder what published authors who have their work in print feel about things they wrote several years ago. Anything that is already ‘out there’ and in a hard copy format cannot be re-written or taken back. It can be re-published possibly, although I’m sure quite rare considering that you would likely have to be a very popular author to justify such a thing.
I suppose that a published book or words written on a page or published in a periodical is much the same as the process anyone feels working in the creative field, such as artists, photographers, film-makers and all those associated with the entertainment or information industry. Once it is done, it is done and must be forgotten or celebrated and let lie, otherwise, you would not be able to move forward with producing better or more interesting works. Which is what makes the creative field of employment so different from other fields of work. Certainly you can make mistakes in any job but it is highly unlikely that there will be more than a handful of people who know of it, and that just isn’t the case in a position where many people are witness to your work and creations.
Which makes me wonder why so many people want the kind of experiences that puts your work before more than a handful of people that displays on a large scale, who you are and what you can and cannot do. Why would anyone desire the kind of public attention that artists, writers and actors are exposed to as a part of their everyday life? I think the answer lies in the fundamental desire of many (but not all) people, who want to be seen and heard and known by more than those they see every day or even in the places they live. I think that these individuals (myself included), want to be seen and heard on much larger scale than they are able to reach in their everyday lives. Not because they are starved for attention (although some are) or have inflated views of who they really are, but because they feel they have something to share with more than just their small circle of friends, family and aquaintances and that what they have to share is important.
I am aware that there are many who believe that what they have to say or share is more important than anything else someone else could share and will do anything to get that kind of attention. But that’s not what I’m referring to here. I believe that everyone has something to share with others and the only question that needs answering is in whether or not it can be shared on a small or large scale. And also that no matter what you need or want to share with others, whoever needs to hear you will hear you. Whoever needs to see you will see you and whomever needs whatever it is that is uniquely you, will somehow and in some way receive it.