Sunday, August 27, 2023

Save Or Discard

By Terry Whalin 

True confession, I am a lifelong saver of stuff. I love my books and its hard to part with them--even if they sit on my shelf and I never open them again.

There is a basic principle of human nature: if you have empty space in a drawer or closet or bookshelf, as new material comes into your life, you will fill that space with something. 

As I write this article, we are moving again. Every time you move there is a lot of sorting and getting rid of things as a part of the process. Ive been sorting through my various books and narrowing down the books which will actually stay in my office. Its been a difficult experience for me but with each book, Ive asked myself, “Will I ever open or read this book again? Will I need it for some forthcoming writing project?” If the answer is, “no,” then Im probably getting rid of it. 

Think about the various books on your bookshelf. Do you read one type of book such as suspense or romance or nonfiction? I read many types of books such as a variety of how-to-write books, nonfiction (Christian and general market), children's books, fiction (in many different genres). I also have a series of Bible reference books and a variety of translations of the Bible. My bookshelf space in my new location is limited so I've been reducing my books--which is a painful experience but Im being realistic with each book. If I get rid of one or two books, I can often track down the information which I need using another method. Ive done this process with past moves and it is rare that Ive gotten rid of a book which later on I needed. This sorting process while difficult is a necessary part of the move.

I understand the necessity to sort my possessions on a regular basis from the example of my parents. For over 45 years they lived in the same home. After their passing, we even found their report cards from grade school. The volume of stuff they accumulated was remarkable and has taken a lot of energy to process. As I mentioned earlier, in many ways Im a saver but Im also trying to walk a different path and regularly slim down my possessions--even if I miss a few books and need them later. 

How do you handle this process of saving or discarding? Do you have a regular system or just allow any empty space to fill? Let me know in the comments below.

My articles in other places. Often in these article, I encourage you to publish your work on other blogs and places. Here's some of my articles which have been published recently:

Every Writer Needs a Safety Net
appeared on Writers on the Move. I give the background and reasons for every writer to diversify in their writing life. 

Write an Evergreen Magazine Article
is a type of magazine article you can publish over and over. Get the details of how to put it together for your writing in this article. 

A Practical Story: Why A Proposal Is Important
 Once a month I write an article about book proposals and in this piece I give a practical story about why every author needs a proposal which is your business plan for your book. 


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