Old writing: keep or toss?

I’m thinking about how much I’ve written on this blog in its fairly short life. When else have I written like this? The other comparable time I suppose was in college when I wrote stacks of papers for classes. I recall very distinctly thinking the two keys to academic success were the ability to memorize – oh baby could I memorize! – and the ability to write.

My game plan was to get good grades in order to get scholarships and grants – no loans – so that I ultimately graduated from a state college with no debt, which now sounds bizarre even to me. I had no job lined up and floundered about doing half-assed part-time jobs wellllll below my abilities, having nothing to do with my nice Liberal Arts Bachelor’s, for some subsequent time, so it’s a good thing I had no debt. [Insert ironic face.]

Because I’d put so much work into producing them, what with all the research, editing, and re-writing, I hung onto those papers long after graduation. I started to whittle away the pile gradually. It is hard to let go of anything you’ve put a lot of effort into, no matter what it is (you can quote me on that). But it’s not like a publisher was going to be clamoring to publish them, or anybody else was likely to take an interest. Hell, even I wasn’t so gung-ho to go through them. Yet I did, tossing most in the end. Did I save one or two? I think so, but the overwhelming bulk hit the recycle bin.

I’m not sorry. I don’t miss them. They served their purpose in their time. Old college papers helped get me a debt-free degree, which I’ll always have. I didn’t need the actual papers any more. The writing I’m doing now – here – is very different. It’s exactly the kind of writing I need, WANT, to be doing now.

5 thoughts on “Old writing: keep or toss?

  1. Geraint Isitt

    I was told by a published author once that she keeps everything she writes to remind her of where she has come from. Also, she’s gone back and found some ideas once forgotten about and built on them. As for me, I’m tragically undecided.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Understood. I figure I should just work from where I’m at, and that I’ll remember anything important or relevant. I’ve decided carrying the past with me – so tangibly – weighs me down intangibly.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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