When I was younger, I was a bit of a hoarder. In my tiny bedroom, I kept a number of collections, from the usual (stamps, boxes, dolls) to the slightly weirder (sugar cubes from our family holidays).
Everything was organised but there was still a lot of it and not all of it was really necessary (looking at you sugar cubes).
These days I’ve pretty much turned a one-eighty from my hoarding roots. If it’s not needed or of any real personal value, it’s out. I still live in a relatively small space, which adds impetus to my need to keep things clear.
In the digital world, it’s different. It’s pretty much infinite for a start and words, bless ‘em, take up very little space. This means you can keep a lot of them for as long as you want. No piles of paper or notebooks towering precariously next to you, oh no. Everything is safety packed away in its own digital folder. For the most part this is great. Most writers say hang on to your old stuff because even if it doesn’t work now, you might find some use for it in the future. Very useful.
Providing, of course, you remember what you’ve got.
I have a number of different writing folders on my computer most of which have been around in some form from my earliest computer using days (thirteen years ago) and which I’ve rarely sorted out.
So I decided it was time for a review. I took an evening and spent a fun time laughing or crying over my old pieces. Ninety percent of it was indulgent guff. The only thing it did do was prove to me that my writing had improved. So I kicked it out. It may not have taken up much actual space but there was no use for it.
That left me with ten percent of work with potential, ideas that I’d forgotten all about. If I hadn’t delved into the depths I never would have found them. With my folders cleaned and dusted and re-organised I had an new urge to get on and work and make some of those old words new again.
It’s good to be a digital hoarder, just make sure you check out your treasures once in a while.