Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Keeping Everything or Just Some Things?

I'm a packrat by nature.  This can be a bad thing in terms of space and the fact that I may end up on an episode of Hoarders some day if I don't watch myself.  This can be an excellent thing if I ever need to produce a bill from 2007 or a receipt from 2010. 

Or if I ever need to prove that I wrote what I wrote.

I have documentation of damn near every step along the way - either electronic and hardcopy, and sometimes both.  First draft, second draft, ad infinitum... editor notes, idea notes, etc.

Keeping everything I ever printed from my computer can become problematic, though.  I used to, but the mountain was getting too tall and we were moving and into the shredder that stuff went.  Now I only keep handwritten notes.  In one of the those nifty expanding files thingies.  One slot for each book. 

Except when I get in a shredding frenzy like I did this morning and begin shredding notebook pages before I realize I meant to keep those.  Bleh. 

For the most part, though, it's all saved. 

The notes I keep in the notebook until the notebook is full.  Then I pull out all the pages and file them in their little slots.  (I was keeping the notebooks themselves, but that was a little haphazard since I can use one 5-subject notebook for innumerable manuscripts.)

Sure, I have tons of things I won't ever need.  Like the rejection letters from 2004.  Like any rejection letter from the query process since I won't ever be doing that again.  Or to paraphrase Edna Mode "That was the then, darling. I like to live in the now."  Next time I go through those boxes in the storage closet, I'll cheerfully toss those bad devils. 

Whenever that will be.  In case you missed yesterday's post at The Writing Spectacle, I'm lazy. 

What about you?  Are you a packrat or do you only save what is absolutely necessary to your life now?


  1. Yes and no. I packrat some stuff but get ruthless with other stuff. Mostly, it comes down to being lazy. I toss something on the table thinking I'll sort later and then...six months later stuff is about a foot deep on the table and then the task is so daunting I put it off until writer's block makes me tackle it. The trash guys HATE when that happens. LOL

    Oh. And boxes. I have a thing about throwing away boxes because, you know, I might need that exact size box some day. (Operative word SOMEDAY!).

  2. In regards to my writing: everything is saved on my computer and back up drive. I don't delete anything electronic to do with my stories. As for written notes, those usually get transcribed into the story or my notes document and I will throw those out. I do have some spiral notebooks with some first draft stuff placed somewhere, but only because there's still paper that can be used in that thing. Haha!

    In regards to other things: yeah, packrat. I'm lazy. But when I do go through my stuff, I do try to honestly evaluate whether or not I need to keep it. I've been getting better at disposing stuff. I want to move someday and certainly don't want to have to deal with it then. Ugh.