I am a master at putting files into totes and stowing them in a dark corner. But I decided now is the time to go through some old files. Above you can see the result.
Most of this paper had to do with an early draft of my memoir. I probably don’t need a draft from 2007 anymore! I also had lots of comments from my writing group. Yeah, I think the time has passed to improve upon the manuscript! Yesterday I got rid of an equal amount of paper, plus an entire trash bag of stuff. I have a couple of more totes to go through.
It feels soooooo good to let go! Every time I get rid of things I feel so much lighter. I am hoping that this clearing out will open up psychic space and energy for new writing. I have the manuscript completed for my next book, and now the project has been in stasis for a few months. I feel like I’m spinning my wheels. I have a couple of new writing projects I want to start. But hanging on to the past was holding me back, I suspect.
What’s your process for cleaning and organizing? As writers, we just have so much stuff! Paper and books everywhere. How long do you keep old drafts and other ephemera?
This struck such a chord with me as I have a similar problem. I have quite a bit of stuff left over from my teaching days and when I left work recently (for good, not temporarily) I had to bring home all my work stuff. It’s mostly articles and interesting stuff I found on the internet and it’s all tidily stored in bags. I have no idea what to do with it but don’t want to throw it out as I think it might be useful. I’m not sure if I’m hanging on to old ideas or not.
I totally get it! I found some of those articles recently which do look useful. But I thought, if I haven’t referred to them for over 10 years, and forgot I even had them, I can toss them!
Hmmmm I’m not so disciplined.