I Keep Things


When my friends brought my remaining stuff from France earlier this year, we were both amused and surprised with the amount of little things I kept over the years: gig tickets, postcards, figurines, pictures, old magazines… There was six years of my life I couldn’t throw away.  I had to make a choice though, because the past was taking too much space in my new flat. So I had to let go.

Same thing happens with what I write. When I was a teenager, I used to throw all my drafts away, because “it wasn’t good enough”, because I was embarrassed (“what if someone finds it and read it?” – the good old pre-computer life fear)… And then I realised drafts and unfinished stories were invaluable material for future tales.

So now I keep everything.

My laptop is full of first chapters and ideas. My noteboks are filled with plans and paragraphs and pretty words I wow to write someday. I still have my blue notebook, the one I used to write my first novel with. I like to read these unfinished drafts and see if I can carry on or use some ideas for new stories. Sometimes there are some I have forgotten about, and I am happy to continue their journey . I still have the”not good enough” syndrome, though, but instead of throwing away, I chose to see these stories as part of my journey as a writer.

I have never been a disciplined writer, and that’s my biggest weakness. But these little gems remind me I am creative, and that I still have stories to tell. So I keep them with me.

How about you, fellow writers? Do you keep your unfinished stories or do you  let them burn?




2 thoughts on “I Keep Things

  1. You should see my filing cabinet!

    I’ve gotten better, though. Every so often, I go through everything I own and weed out what I no longer use or need. This helps me get ready for the next phase of my life.

    There are some things I could never get rid of, though, like the very first draft of Sade on the Wall or the photos of my grandfather. I’m trying to let go of my need for attachment. The only thing that comforts me is the fact that I can walk through my house; I’m not a hoarder. ;)


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