I have decided, mostly as a way of procrastinating before a) sending off my first novel to agents or b) cracking on with my second, to edit all my undergraduate writings into a simply presented collection and make them available as an eBook. I started looking through the texts today, and already it has been a rather startling experience.
Coming face to face with my younger self is both pleasing and embarrassing. Yes, my writing was less eloquent then, but it also agreed with my now firmly cemented notion that fiction must be true to life, must be honest.* There are things I wrote when a student that I MOST DEFINITELY cannot publish now, due to their being unnecessarily honest about people other than me, but the fact that I have located these pieces, offering raw insights into experiences I vaguely, or even barely, remember, pleases me.
I’m enjoying discovering poetry I’d forgotten I’d written, I’m enjoying the gay gay gay sixteen thousand word “novel” I wrote when 20, but most of all I am glad that I still find my own jokes funny… And also that an earlier version of me found the issues of class, sexuality, dependency, desperation, depression and decline just as worthy of attention as I do now.
This is a time-wasting exercise, I know, and it’s self-indulgent, and almost self-dismissive, preparing to share things I know aren’t always brilliant. But I’ve laughed several times today. Which always makes a pleasant change.