Recently I discovered a stack of 3 1/2″ floppy disks. Completely old school when it comes to tech, I know. I used to save all of my stories and poems on those wretched things. The stack I found had several disks with pictures on them, images I used as references for characters back then (I say back then, it was only sometime between 2003-2006). Some of the other disks actually had writing on them. My roommate borrowed a floppy drive from the college campus and I eventually transferred all the stuff on the disks to my portable hard-drive (which is where I keep all my writing these days).
The fun part of this was reading all of the writing that was on the disks. I like to think that, since high school (I graduated in 2005), I’ve improved vastly as a writer. And when reading the stories I found on those disks, that was definitely confirmed for me. Not only was it very clear how little practice and how little I had learned at that point in my writing career, it was also very obvious how young I was at the time I had been writing those stories. Now, in high school, I was told that my writing exceeded the skills I should ‘normally’ have at my age. It had been that way since I began writing stories and poems. And I suppose that is a fantastic compliment, but looking at that stuff now, after I’ve had college classes to help improve my writing and worked at it tirelessly until I sometimes don’t recognize my own writing as being mine, the material on those disks was just silly.
I finished reading the first attempt at a novel, and laughed. I thought “Dear Gods, I wrote that?” It was clear I was basing my style after the authors I was obsessed with at the time, but I was so young that things like sex, violence and love was watered-down koolaid next to my deep, rich wine of today. It’s a nice ‘blast-from-the-past’ but it also makes you so proud of how far you’ve come.
How often have you found some of your old writing, read through it, and had the same reaction I did? Share your experiences.