Adventures in Writing: Old Documents

I’m looking through my OneDrive with a face of dread. Old documents litter it.

Adventures in Writing

I’m going to start out with the words every writer, including myself, need to hear. It’s okay. It’s alright that you accidentally abandoned that story because something so amazing popped into your head that you had to stop everything you were doing to write it all down.

And then revise and edit it a few times.

And then to rework it so that it fit a submission call.

Or something like that.

I’m looking through my OneDrive and seeing a story that I started in August of 2016. Not even the beginning or middle, but the end of August. On top of that, I look at the last save date and it was June of last year. It’s almost been a year since I looked at it. The streak of horror that just ran through me not five minutes ago is palpable. I can’t even fathom that it just fell off the writing cliff so fast that I haven’t touched on something in a year.

But that’s not the only horror. On top of the horror of not touching it for almost a year comes along with the fear of reading it. My writing has changed quite a bit in a year. At least I think so. I can’t even look at the Supervisor Sexcapades Saga without cringing. (Notice I didn’t link the book page for it, but it’s up there if you want to take a peek.) I want other writers to know that they aren’t alone when it comes to document graveyards.

“Here lies the story I forgot about because another story took its place.”

I even know what stock photo I had planned on using with that story. I also know that I haven’t used it for anything else, though it had crossed my mind a time or two. And I also recall that when I’m scrolling through my stock photo folder (sorry, I can’t afford cover models y’all) that when I see that particular photo my brain immediately tells me to scroll faster because that story isn’t done yet.

Then another issue pops up. Do I resurrect the story? Do I open it this weekend and see if my naughty bits still like the premise and plot and characters? Hell yes, I will. Sure, I’ve moved on for the most part, but that doesn’t mean I can’t breathe new life into that piece and make it a thousand times better than it is at the moment.

This is why I don’t delete. Or, at least delete very little when it comes to writing. I never know what will inspire another story or what will work better in a story. I feel like my writer-brain will get a bunch of stories at once occasionally and they all get jumbled up. As I write them out, things become clear. It’s obvious what doesn’t work and what doesn’t fit and what needs to be cut. However, I enjoy keeping those bits and bobs that I remove. Just like I enjoy keeping old stories.

Like a phoenix, the story shall rise from the ashes with a new life breathed into it.

What documents litter your digital grave? Are they worth giving another look to see what can be rescued from the debris?

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One Comment

  1. Some old fan fic, and a story I started in 2016 that I stalled on and I want to finish, but upon spending an hour or so with it today, I’m still stuck. The writing is mostly good, but I’m lost. Not my usual genre.

    I have about four different character ideas, mostly couples, that I can’t find the right story for. Some of them have been around since maybe 2005.

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