There is a certain amount of writing every writer does that goes unpublished. Some of it bugs him, and some he forgets about or loses interest in, because he is no longer the person he was when the work was written and he feels that it no longer applies. There are also times he is too busy to be bothered by the process of seeking publication. There are times his work is so consuming that he forgets to eat and bathe, he forgets his friends and family, and he even forgets who he is. This can all happen in the space of an afternoon, but it can also last a lifetime, which, as any writer who loves his work can tell you, is very nearly one and the same thing.

What happens to a writer�s unpublished work and how much of it there is at the end of his life depends on the writer, and how successful he was with the work he did publish. It depends on how he lived his life, and on how he treated the people around him. It also depends on his method of organization and storage. Some writers are forever on the move, and their unpublished work is scattered or lost. Some writers spend their entire writing lives in one place, little by little turning their dwellings into musty archives. A small minority of writers throw everything away.

Unpublished work, whether a writer pays any attention to it or not, is important. First, it is work that has been done, work that the writer bothered with and fussed over, work that he felt was worth spending his time on, and that was a means of coping with the ongoing battle between life and death being waged in his body and brain and in everything and everyone around him. Second, it is a partial record of how his time was spent, and it gives an idea of what he was thinking about, his worries, his failures, his small triumphs.

Unpublished work can also reveal society�s failure to recognize a prophetic voice crying in the wilderness. Unpublished work can be surprising in its brilliance, and in its ability to withstand the test of time. What a writer may have tried and failed to publish in his lifetime, leaving him outraged or depressed, can be discovered at a later date by someone with a clear eye and a clear mind, a person with the ability to understand the importance of what the writer was trying to say, or of the way he was trying to say it, or the fact that he did say it when no one else would. Someday, in fact, it might be an unpublished story that saves us all, or at least gets us started on the right path, the path away from self-destruction and toward an existence more befitting a species with so much untapped potential.

Of course, a lot of unpublished writing is junk, as is a lot of published writing. It might not even matter what is published and what isn�t, or who wrote what, or when or where or under what circumstances it was written. Quite possibly, the only thing that matters is that anything is written at all, and that it is read, talked about, fought over, taught, condemned, and eventually forgotten.

It is also possible that writing doesn�t matter, in either its published or unpublished form. It�s also possible that nothing matters. But if nothing matters, one may as well write. In fact, one could write an entire book about how nothing matters, and do his best to make it as memorable and forgettable as everything that�s been done before.

Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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