Rendered Fat Content


Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾 北斎: Recycling Paper (1821)

"I repurpose and therefore am."

By the time this story becomes part of a manuscript, I will have repurposed it several times. The manuscript itself might have always been the purpose of creating the story, but each seemed to need several interim iterations before I could quietly put it to rest there. It first appeared as a part of my daily production, my each and every morning writing practice. This initial iteration sure seems finished when I first post it, but it needs fixing before it can reach anything even remotely like its final destination. I often wonder if I could simplify this terribly complicated and intricate process until I recall that this present instance represents years of evolving improvements. The process isn't yet completely static, but it's become both much simpler and more complicated as various purposes have emerged and stuck into more or less permanent practices. I've become a Repurposeful writer, poster, and publisher, reworking essentially the same kernels to satisfy their varying purposes.

Much of this effort amounts to relatively mindless copying and pasting.
Each domain, every application carries its own principles, its own rules. Each seems quirky compared to its counterparts, if only because it couldn't help but become quirky, for each was designed to satisfy some unique purpose. An FTP upload demands attention to different aspects than a Substack create, which works in real-time but with various hidden limitations. In turn, I've run into each limitation and figured out my workarounds. The whole process, beginning to end, now amounts to quirky workarounds that I suspect the individual designers of the applications would not recognize or admit to having necessitated. I remain studiedly non-technical as I hunt and peck my way toward publication.

I keep promising myself that I will one day document the steps I employ to create my publishable manuscripts, but I haven't, not yet. I work from my faulty memory, periodically re-realizing that I might have omitted a step or two without a simple way to confirm or disconfirm the disconnect. Being Repurposeful means maintaining parallel universes, where versions could create confusion. The parent version in my blog should match the manuscript's grandchild one. The interim versions posted to social media fall out of synch first since some of those won't allow retrospective updating. Links don't copy and must be recreated if parallel's required. It all seems so intricate and demands focused attention. I cannot prepare a story for Publishing while listening to music. I must be more or less fully immersed in it to accomplish Repurposeful engagement.

Any naive notion that writing might constitute a creative profession has slowly and quietly gone the way of the Dodo Bird for me. Even my first iterations tend to come from earlier recollections. If I'm not precisely copying earlier stories, I'm more or less transcribing them from my faulty memories, for none of them emerge from nothing; every damned one of them came from an earlier life, some prior experience. I see no beginning and perceive no ending from here, either. The target I hold on Publishing will likely prove to be wanting, with additional Repurposeful steps probably emerging as I near what I'd imagine was my target. I sincerely appreciate what my forebears tolerated, working exclusively with paper. Their shortcuts came through physical erasures, and copies required retyping or carbons. Before then, they worked in stone, but the history of Publishing has always been, as near as I can determine, a past filled with Repurposeful efforts. Descarte today would probably say something like, "I repurpose and therefore am." It was never different.

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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