Keep the Change!
I was cleaning my study, den, (former) living room, whatever you wish to call it. I started with cleaning out two bookcases. I found my stash of rejection slips and tossed them. Who needs them? I also found stacks of printouts of my short stories that I’d forgotten about and even file backups on CD’s that I need to look through. Unfortunately, I have lots of paper to go through yet, in this paperless society.
I’ve written a lot of short stories.
Even though I tried not to, because it slows down the cleaning process, I stopped to read some of them. There are changes in my writing—from then to now.
In the mix of cleaning out books, I found that I had purchased two of the same book at some point: Comedy Writing Secrets: How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny and Get Paid for it by Melvin Helitzer, published 1987. The second book was published in 2005 and has a c0author, Mark Shatz, listed beneath the original author name. I’m sure there’s changes in the second book to warrant an added author’s name.
There’s another change, too. The cover! I guess it needed to meet the standards of 2005 and appeal to the (then) modern reader.
Unless we're already perfect or brilliant or something, we need to be open to change in order to get better at our craft.
“The only thing constant in life is change.” François de la Rochefoucauld
I hate that quote because I hate change, but this post isn’t about hating change, is it? I'd like to say, "keep the change", but we need to be open to change so that our craft reflects our best effort.
Which cover do you prefer? 1987 on the left or 2005 on the right? Does it bother anyone else that 2005 seems so long ago?