When I’m working on something I wind up with several files. One of the draft, one with some notes scribbled: like children’s names and ages, a plot map (mostly done as I work or after I’ve written the entire draft) and sometimes a file with deleted scenes. I try to save them with either the working title or character’s names.
But then I never delete them.
Other things I never delete: short stories I started writing. Some of these are finished, but then I decided they were crap. Others I realize are crap while writing them and stop working on them. I have a dozen or more in my dropbox folder, at least four are fan fiction that I”m too embarrassed to share. (All Dragon Age related). Once in a while, there is nothing wrong with a premise I started to write, I just lost all interest.
I have numerous files with self-help, self-improvement and/or power of intention exercise answers in them. I read the burning question from Danielle LaPorte or something from Gabrielle Bernstein and I copy and past the question into a notepad, I answer it and then save it.
Like Done Fucking Deal. (Mine is a big check from Amazon, which I will celebrate by taking people out for dinner after I call my Mom).
I have this odd little montage I did a couple years ago, in the style of “Parenting Illustrated with Crappy Pictures” done in MS Paint. It’s about how I don’t have to be perfect. I might still post that one.
For each of the five novels there are at least 3 saves each as I worked through various stages of edits. If I screwed up a round of editing really badly, I did not want to have to back to the pre-edited manuscript, but I didn’t want to save over that first draft either.
I have three different spreadsheets for various months for tracking sales on Amazon. I’ve never managed to update the spreadsheet for more than 3 consecutive days, so I gave up on that idea this last month.
I have three different spreadsheets for blog planning. (Also a few text notepad saves of various ideas that just didn’t work out in the end. Never mind the eighteen drafts I have saved in WordPress of ideas I later realized were stupid).
And that’s just the laptop which I’ve only had about two years. Never mind the desktop we’ve had for the last four years. Free pdfs from every self-improvement website in exchange for my well guarded email address. Duplicate photos of the kids. In case that last shot didn’t turn out. Every really bad cover image I made. And there were some bad ones.
I need to go through all this stuff and save what is important and delete what is not important. Back up the irreplaceable stuff, like photos. And delete everything else that I can bear to delete. (I am as much a digital packrat as I am in real life).
Do you keep your computer files organized in neat folders? or are they scattered and ill-named, leaving you hunting for things? Do you need to clean up your files?