I have been writing stories since I was a teenager. That means about 26 years now. That’s a lot of stories. With as many shows as I have done I know that my stories have gotten out there. Not to a lot of people but to some, and that’s better than none. Far better. I never had anything get popular or anything, nothing really spread out far and wide, but it’s been great just being able to get my work out there. I have come to grips though with the fact that when I am gone, so too will my writing be gone. It’s a sad thought as we’d like to think that our art outlives us but for some of us, that isn’t always the case. The HOPE is that my words, my ideas, and my stories have inspired or freaked out a few people. That’s pretty awesome. That is pretty powerful. But within five years of my death my words will be resigned to a few books on a few shelves and within ten years I will be gone save for the whispers of my name by whomever may remember me.
It’s a sobering thought.
A sad thought.
But one that I came to grips with.
I have written several hundred stories and a few books.
No one will read them all.
When I am gone there are probably two hundred or more stories that will never have been published, more if it’s further away than today. There are a lot on my blog but more that just never were seen.
Writers always talk about their abandoned babies, the stories and books that shouldn’t be out in the wild. I get that idea, because we all want to have our best faces forward, our best works seen. But to me nothing NEEDS to be abandoned. Work can be re-tooled. Re-written. Gutted. I think that happens more than we hear about.
But we’ll never see everything from an artist.
Never hear every song.
Or see every painting.
Our desire to leave a good legacy outweighs the need to force everything out.
Leave it to the artistic archeologists to find the hidden gems.
It is weird though, to think in terms of the things that will never been seen.
That has served as a rider at my back, driving me forward for a few years now.
That was why The Meep Sheep books were finished. Why the ‘damned novel’ was finished.
Why the zombie book was finished.
I wanted the lost dogs on my farm to find homes.
If I ever finish the last novel that’d clear away the stuff on my ledgers save for the stories that were never collected but to put them out for the vanity of putting them out is silly.
I don’t want to be a parody of myself.
Happy to have fifty books out, none of which sell.
Things will be what they will be.
A lot will go unseen, like our own hearts, much will never be seen.
But we go on, to those that loved us, those that we inspired, and those we disappointed.
We will go on to those that were touched by our work and those that turned away from it.
And in time we will fade away, not because we were any less important, and not because our work was any less powerful, but because there has to be room for the next dreamers, and artists, and doers.
There has to be room for everyone else.
So I won’t mourn that no one will have read all of my stories, good, bad, and weird, but will celebrate instead those few that have read what they have.