Apologies and Rough Drafts

Photo by LuzJennifer © 2016

My sincere apologies for being notably MIA from the blog these last couple of weeks. Sometimes life happens with a vengeance and you become so caught up that it consumes all of your time and energy.

I was tempted to blog about random things but I didn’t want to post something just for the sake of posting it. I’ve been thinking a lot about rough drafts since my last post though and how underrated they are.

We always show our best work but it’s not what came out of us whole and organically. Rough drafts are the starting point, the origin, and I feel like they are looked down upon and even taken for granted a little.

They are usually hidden away in our dresser drawers or crumpled in waste baskets. We shield them from view and are embarrassed by them, we deny they came from us.

So I’d like to spend the rest of this post celebrating the complex disarray of rough drafts. As a token of my gratitude to you for reading this even though I’ve been away, I bring you the poem which I finally feel brave enough to share.

It was written in 2008; check it out below!

Knives Out the Window © 2008

The day may come /when you throw knives out the window/onto the pavement/crash and crack/But do they break/or do they go?/They seem to go/To disappear/Without a trace/You’ve cut open/the chance/That you’ll get caught/and reprimanded/Or else/If anything/You’ll get a funny look/From the neighbors/Down below/Or over to your right/They too hold knives/But they’re in the closet/As you once did/You kept them closed too/But rust and old age/settled onto/the sharp edges/Which obstruct the blade/That’s the heart of the knife/Which penetrates/degrades/precipitates/A mistake/of wounding too deep/ So instead/let them glimmer/and glisten, with a/plick of light/like in movies./And expose them to yourself/rather than to have them/exposed/to you./Much better to fling them/from above/Despite those watchers/down below/You can always go back/and reclaim them/But I can practically/guarantee/You won’t find them/Not immediately/They may show up/Clear, sharp, plick-plicking/pure light/Right on the pavement/Sparkling bright/And you then won’t reclaim/them, instead/treat them rude, and watch/them, like flowers,/in bloom./One day soon, I can/ promise you this/Not just from craziness,/from frustrated bliss/You’ll flick them,/like freebees/Slyly with your wrist/out into life/light/sight/when you fight/from a height/to their own/unbridled/plight.

There’s no question that this piece is a hot mess. But I challenge you to take a moment and find one thing–it could be a line, a word, or a phrase–that calls out to you. Because that’s the key to good writing, friends: when it has the potential to become great. Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


2 thoughts on “Apologies and Rough Drafts

  1. I happen to like messy pieces of work. To be honest with you, I threw away at least 30 journals last year because I didn’t want my daughters to read any of my hidden, glaring thoughts.

    Your post is so raw and it speaks to me because of a young woman I know who is fighting a problem with cutting and her plight is cutting right into my heart just as this piece of writing did.

    Well done, my friend. Keep it up. Never apologize….


    1. Wow, my sincerest thanks Joey. I’m in absolute awe and humbled by the fact that this piece resonated with you. I hope your friend is doing okay.

      It really brings to light the variety of ways that one piece of writing can be interpreted by different people. It might mean one thing to one person and an entirely different thing to another, but it connects us all because we found meaning and feel validated as a result. That’s so powerful and it’s what I hope to keep accomplishing in my work.

      That’s too bad about your journals but I can definitely understand the apprehension! It’s not easy exposing the raw material that leads to our finished work but it can be liberating 🙂 I’ll definitely be checking out in the hopes that you’ll share some of your hidden, glaring thoughts!


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