My file drawers were full to bursting with old drafts of stories, copies of rejection letters, scraps of paper or news clippings with story ideas, and still more old drafts of stories. I decided to take a big step and weed through it.
I started with old drafts of published stories. If I have the published clip, I don’t need the 25 drafts that got me there. That was easy.
Old drafts of unpublished stories. Will I really look back and use something buried in a file? Not if I can’t remember it. I took several deep breaths and tossed out all but the most recent draft or two of my favourites. Then there was some stuff that prompted me to think, ‘I actually wrote that?’ Goodbye.
Copies of submission and rejection letters. If these were for something I'd already tossed, no sense in keeping them. More than a couple of years old? Adios. I have a few things I’ve kept for writing presentations at schools, but I don’t plan on ever wallpapering my office with rejections.
My folders of story ideas? I couldn’t face weeding through those, so they are back in my file drawer. Even so, when I was finished, I was thrilled. I could actually put things in the drawer! I felt so much lighter, like it was a new beginning to go along with my new project.