A Discourse on Where to Keep Good Writing

Act 1 Scene i
Where to keep good writing is a topic often ignored, yet immediately appropriate to our current state. I have on occasion found a piece of wonderful grammatical construction under my foot on my way to or from an event. In this case it seems most appropriate to read and enjoy the construction, fold it symmetrically, and place it in my pocket for a later date when it will be more convenient to translate it to another piece of paper or book filled with such inscriptions. However if the words have been dropped onto an older portion of brown paper or on top of an aged piece of newsprint then the folding of the paper may be skipped entirely. If the folding of the paper will in any way change or deconstruct the original thought or idea of the piece in a way that does not entirely improve it then the paper should not be tampered with. In some cases, it is wise to either hold it or memorize it, in an attempt to conserve it until it can be more safely translated.

If, for instance, you fold the paper and then reread it and the word “cease” has morphed into “ease” due to your folding, making the entire logic of the note more meaningful (I’m hoping you can imagine a circumstantial sentence where this is possible) then by all means fold it. This brings up an interesting point that I will currently bring to your attention. You may proceed with the folding, but should you now put the paper into your pocket or should you leave the piece where you found it, now possessing the authorship solely to yourself having altered the piece entirely? Does the filing into your pocket then deaden the work hiding it from plain view where it will eventually be either read, or stepped on and possibly further altered? If it is further altered, will it be for the better, as only your judgment can ascertain or will it be altered for the worse, which you have now played a part in. I for one would not choose to be responsible for changing the great work of an anonymous author for the worse. This is a fantastically numbered die.

If on your way to or from an event you find a wonderful combination of words taken in or out of context and decide to fold the piece of paper symmetrically and place it in your pocket until it will be easier to transfer to another piece of paper or a book filled with such inscriptions, where do you put this so called book? And is a book the best place for great writing? More often than not, my great writing is kept in my brain, safely transferring from right to left hemispheres, making adjustments between both, evolving for the better in a constant state of flux. This is by far the worst place to keep writing.

By following the precedent, we keep this great writing in books. These books are then usually placed on shelves made for books or the aptly named bookshelves. But lets say, as in the case of Jack Kerouac’s original script for On the Road, the writing is entirely on one scroll of paper. Or perhaps more profoundly, the original script of the book of Jeremiah filled with prophecies and forebodings that were integral to the fulfillment of the scriptures. These two scripts in there original form are incased in glass prisons, never to be touched for fear of deterioration or more profoundly, for fear of altering the piece accidentally for the better (or worse as the case may be). This is understandable on a few accounts. For one, I’m sure the monetary value of each changes drastically due to the condition each is in, and the more use the more damage I’m sure is incurred. I could only wish that my writing were susceptible to such damage. Secondly, there must be great nostalgic or sentimental value in each, knowing that the actual author had actually touched this piece of paper. Were this true of all books, the argument here would be more complicated. I understand that the difference between a piece of scrap paper found on the street and the original script to the book of Jeremiah are drastically different, but I suggest they are drastically the same. Each is composed of words, each communicates, and each is potentially prophetic. The similarities between Kerouac’s piece and something found on the road should be obvious, but not nearly as thought provoking.