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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?