This is a sad tale. Really. The top left hand drawer of my dresser is stuffed with forgotten, ignored, wrinkled lingerie. Many of them I received at bridal showers over ten years ago, when I was an excited bride-to-be sitting in a cozy, decorated room, surrounded by my best friends. We joked and laughed and oohed and aahed over all the pretty little garments while nibbling on desserts and sipping coffee. Most of the beautiful nighties I wore on my honeymoon and my first year of marriage.
Then, I moved to New England and started living in an old house with drafty windows. And my left hand drawer stayed closed. Because I don’t like being cold. At all. And then, well, I had kids. So the drawer stayed closed a few more years. And then I discovered my love of fleece pajama bottoms. And I think the drawer is stuck shut, warped by time.
But I can’t get myself to throw any of it out. Sentimental reasons, I guess. They were gifts from people who loved me and were excited for me. How can I just toss them aside? I can’t. Kind of like the rose made out of white chocolate in my freezer, we had as favors at our wedding, that my kids keep asking if they can eat.
But words? Story scenes? Unnecessary characters? Cute phrases? Clever alliteration? Vague thoughts? Aha. These I can pull out of my writer’s top left hand drawer and throw into the goodwill bag. Is there a sentimental fondness toward my words? Yes. Is it hard to cut lines that I think are terrific? Yes.
But, sometimes I have to for the better of the story. I listen to the tiny doubts that niggle at my brain when I read over a line or contemplate a scene. If I’m doubting at all, then it’s a sign I need to press delete.
And write something better.
Do you have a hard time cutting words, paragraphs or scenes that you love, but that don’t seem to fit?