July 10th, 2012 / 3:38 pm

Do you guys save your “papers”?  To what extent do you save your papers?


  1. A D Jameson

      Oh, yes, all my papers, yes. Paper wrappings and paper towels and toilet papers—some university library will someday want them, I am certain…

  2. Erik Stinson

      i only saved my senior honors thesis – it is in a folder with my health records

      i hope this was helpful to you andrew

  3. Weeatherhead

      yeah that’s good

  4. AndrewWorthington

      they’re all on my computer, probably, but most hard copies have perished, except for my senior thesis, and stories i presented in workshops that have lots of comments on them, maybe

  5. Andrew Colville

      i save the ‘papers’ that i feel impressed or happy i wrote

      i delete the others

      i’ve deleted almost everything so far within six months of writing it

  6. j orloski

      I just moved and threw away everything.

  7. Richard Grayson

      The older you get, the harder it is to save any papers.  At 61, I have moved dozens of times, and it’s just too much to schlep around.  I regret that I’ve lost letters — some from famous dead authors, some from college friends sending me their impressions of Europe in 1971 — and my own manuscripts (I won first prize in a playwriting contest as an underground and “lost” that ms. maybe 30 years ago).  The only thing I keep are my bound diaries for every year dating back to 1969, and I’ve been trying to digitize at least a fraction of the 9-million-plus words because I know they will be lost too, stored for many years at the house of relatives. 

      Now it would make sense to scan and save your most valuable “papers” as a file, but who knows how long it will be before the file is obsolete?  I wrote stories and newspaper columns that were saved in some long-abandoned format when I had computers like the TRS-80 or word processing programs like PerfectWrite (IBM).  All I have left of them are scanned JPG files of the photocopy of the published pieces.

      You should keep what you think you’ll want for a few years out, but eventually, hopefully, you will get older and older and it will become more of a problem to keep the accumulating “papers.”

      Perhaps one’s G-mail chats last forever, though.  Sigh.

  8. David Fishkind

      the goal is to have nothing left behind so nobody even knows you existed, let alone ‘wrote’ ‘papers’ (very unlikely that i actually agree w/ or believe what i just typed)

  9. Merzmensch

      I also don’t waste anything I wrote. I keep all the papers in nummered boxes and open them 10 years later. I see, how stupid I was. I cry. I drink. I write.

  10. Cameron Pierce

      I get rid of almost everything. On multiple occasions, I’ve thrown away/deleted everything I’d written over the span of a year or more (I don’t do this anymore). For a similar reason, I’ve only kept two of the print publications I’ve appeared in, and only have a copy of one of my books (though not the English edition, so I can’t read it).