Writerish Pack-ratting

My laughably fat self-made textbooks.

My laughably fat textbooks. Yes, that’s Wile E. Coyote’s calling card: “Have Brain, Will Travel.” Just what students need to hear.

I’m blogging today at Laura Hile about my ginormous self-made textbooks. As the school year progresses, these become almost like weapons! The photo shows how huge a simple composition book can become.

But don’t picture me as the noble teacher, scouring the Internet for information to share with students.

In truth, I’m a pack rat, and these textbooks are more for me than for my students. I’ve simply found an honorable use for all the quotations and articles and cartoons I hoard. And I keep collecting more-more-more.

My most pressing struggle during the 400 Bags for Lent challenge has to do with papers. (Well, and the garage.) But I’m wondering. Does my handicap in discarding papers have a connection with being a writer?

What about you? What do you struggle to get rid of?

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5 thoughts on “Writerish Pack-ratting

  1. Susan Kaye

    I don’t struggle with any type of thing, I just struggle with timing. I do decluttering in stages. Once I deem something undesireable, I put it in a container for disposal–either trash, recycling or Goodwill–and then it has to sit for a while. I think that takes out the sting, and if I decide that I want it back it’s right there. Within a few months, it goes in a fit of moving forward.

    I know that goes against all the books. But, I live more lightly than I used to, and I keep getting rid of stuff so I’ll stick to my method.

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    1. Laura Hile

      A while back I took hold of the “incoming” process as far as durable goods are concerned. I won’t go to garage sales or estate sales. (Caveat: My mom keeps giving me stuff!) And the “papers” I collect and photos nowadays are mostly on my hard drive. When the laptop dies, I start over!

      It’s the older boxes and the things I save “just in case.” Like you, I am learning to live more lightly. I will attack a box of old papers under my desk this afternoon. Out, out!

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    1. Laura Hile

      I make a new book for each class yearly, as I switch things up somewhat—depending on the personalities of the students. And if I lose last year’s master book—if the school burns down, say—and the sequence of pages is destroyed, I’m toast.

      It’s also weird that my “files” are now paperless. I bring up the article I want, hit “print,” and voila. No more saving master copies. Except what I’ve pasted in the books.

      I have flash drives, and backup flash drives in case I lose one. Which happened once with a book manuscript. It was nicely backed up, but the flash drive disappeared. Forty pages of edits on The Lady Must Decide were lost. Pain! Agony! I was convinced, of course, that I’d lost the best material ever written. After licking my wounds, I went to work. But have a backup of the backup of the backup is now my rule.

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      1. Susan Kaye

        Steve Pressfield–The War of Art–writes daily and when he’s finished, backs it up and then puts the flash drive in the glove box of his truck. He lives in an undisclosed location in some of the many hills of SoCal and wants them in a safe place in case of a fire and evacuation. I just keep my drives on a ring, together on my desk so if I have to flee, they’re accessible.

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Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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