Hoarding is not in my natural. By default, I’m the one who will discard, gift, donate, recycle or otherwise get rid of items when they no longer perform a function. Sometimes I discard before really considering if it’s no longer needed. Scrap paper with some writing notes on it? Recycle. I didn’t use the ideas yet, so obviously they weren’t any good. And if they are good, well, they should come back to me, right?
So it goes digitally. Photos I come the closest to hoarding. Even then, out of 25 photos of one day with my kids playing in a pool, I’ll keep the best 5 or 6. Blurry? Discard. Poor lighting, tops of heads cut off, eyes closed, random sad bystander in the background? Discard. It’s easy to discard these photos because they aren’t the memory. They are touchstones, keys to unlock my brain in remembrance, but nothing about the 1s and 0s is of value to me.
Music? I can repurchase it. Yes, it’s an album that was given to me on a birthday by someone who blah blah blah. I haven’t listened to it in years, it’s not my style, and again, if I want to I can buy it again. Philosophically, did they gift the physical nature of the music or the experience of the music itself? I don’t know, but I’m donating this CD. Or removing the album from my iTunes library. Whichever.
And now we come to blog posts. I am the worst blogger in terms of keeping posts evergreen, mantaining SEO, having a consistant domain name. It’s all over the map. I ran two blogs, one for writing, one for gaming, in 2018, with around 60 posts each. I have the remains of perhaps 4 of them. The blogs themselves are gone, recycled, domains sitting fallow. I had backups, Scrivener libraries of draft posts, archives on multiple forms of media.
Because those posts were of no value to me any longer. Those blogs were of no value any longer. They served their purpose, for their time, and now everything has moved on. Some days I might feel a twinge of regret, spend five minutes wondering if I have some hidden backup salted away representing the hours put in, and then I get up and write some new words. All those posts made me a better writer. But I don’t need them around now. They were practice, and important in their time. But now we’re moving on.
Well, gone in their original form, and moving on from what they were. I did go back to the titles themselves, and for the ones that struck me I redid a post. A post, mind you, from the ground up. These aren’t rewritten, they are redrafted. They’re comlpetely different because I’m different. If I wrote a novel based on my NaNo title, it’d be impossible to recreate what was there. It’d be it’s own thing.
(Don’t get me started on my NaNoWriMo novel. Show of hands, how many think those files still exist?)