To Purge or Not to Purge–Are You a File Hoarder?

Too Many Files

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been in a panic a number of times over lost files. I’ve had a little extra time on my hands because my student teacher has all my classes right now, so I’ve tried to organize my computer and sort them out.

First, there are my teaching files. 19,572 to be exact. This includes full curricula in chemistry, physics, algebra II, algebra I, biology, integrated science, geometry, precalculus, and anatomy. Not to mention syllabi, parent logs, grade records, PD power points, etc.

Next, comes my writing folder. Almost 2,000 files there. I have saved every single draft, every single critique, every single revision–for whatever paranoid reason, I hold onto all these files in case there’s one little phrase I want to bring back. It’s insanity!

So, I’m considering a purge, now that Cavernous is fully edited. I have numerous digital copies of the whole manuscript in various safe locations. The Cavernous folder itself has over 200 files, and that’s not counting the Cavernous files in my contest folder. Twice, I’ve selected all these files, considered it, and chickened out before choosing to delete.

I must confess. I’m a file hoarder. And a terrible one. I’m not sure what to do about it. On the one hand, those critique files have a lot of value. The early draft files have some of the phrases that inspired the story that I’ve since cut. If I delete this old teaching file, I might need to retype it later. On the other hand, I can never find anything within 2-3 minutes anymore.

I’m considering a five file per day purge. The thought is already making me tremble. Does anyone else struggle with letting go? What do you do to keep your writing organized?

About monicamynk

I'm a Christian, wife, mother, and high school science teacher, and author of the Cavernous Trilogy and Goddess to Daughter Series.

Posted on October 28, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. aspirationsofflight

    I can completely relate. Not to continue helping the insanity or anything, but maybe start super organizing files? A folder for critiques, drafts, etc.

    • Mine are super organized in folders and I think that’s half my problem. I think it would almost be easier to have all 27,000 files in one folder sorted by date or something. For every book I have a folder for drafts, critiques, prewriting, etc. I think I just need to get more comfy with deleting LOL

  2. Oh, me too, Monica. So bad! My crit partner has one file: the draft. And a folder: Everything else: crits, etc. I’m jealous of her. 🙂 Working toward the same thing, myself. LOL

    • Hi Voni! Thanks for the comment and also liking my Facebook page. Do you have a page, too?

      I’ve tried to use Scrivener this time. It seems to help with general organization, but still not when you have to send files out for critique and blend them back in to the revisions.

      Good luck!

      • Hi, Monica! I’ve seen an ad for a free video on how to use Scrivener when you have outside critiques and edits. I haven’t watched it yet. When it comes back through, I can link it on your page.

        Yes, I have a FB page, under the name Voni (Woolsey) Harris. It’s not an author’s page, per se, but I’d be glad to friend you there.


  3. Guilty as charged.
    I’m file hoarder.
    Used to be an info hoarder and video hoarder, now I only collect images like crazy (with a purpose of course).
    I’m much more healthy now, haha

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