Just before I settled down to write this, I spotted I’ve published exactly 400 blog entries since beginning in 2013.
On the one hand, that’s not surprising as it equates to approximately one post per week, yet it’s still a powerful demonstration of how regular and consistent writing can help to build a useful archive.
Let’s take my own work as an example. In the folders containing my poetry and short stories, I have more than 320 distinct pieces. I also like to keep revisions, so many of them house multiple copies showing the evolution of each piece: some complete and others abandoned.
If you’re a new writer, I strongly advise you to keep all your work, even if you don’t like it at the time. If there’s one lesson I’ve learnt from a decade of writing, it’s that some pieces need to be left in a drawer for a while and looked at again with fresh eyes.
Last year, I tasted this from the other side when I started taking art lessons last year. One recurring problem – especially at the beginning – was when I knew something was wrong with my drawing, but I didn’t know how to fix it. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to go back and see what’s wrong.
I’ve also had a hand in creating an archive of other people’s work.
Since March of last year, my open-mike night Hotchpotch has maintained a YouTube account in lieu of live events. I was initially disappointed that we receive perhaps five submissions per month compared to the 25 or so who would perform in person. But those small contributions each month have steadily built up to a library of 73 videos at last count.
When people now ask what our event is like, we can now direct them towards that page. For that reason, I’m keen to maintain it even once we can meet up again.