On Deletion Practices

For most of what passes for my pretend writing career, I’ve printed out everything that I wrote on that particular day: a physical, secondary back-up (to Time Machine on a decade-old Macbook Air, hence my tendency towards redunancy) to scribble upon and work by hand in the first bits of the next morning, before turning myself and it over to the montony of typing and cut and paste and deletion etc etc.

But, as I fiddle about with this new iteration of The Third Book, I’ve ceased this printing practice: whereas I once kept each section in its own document, I’m now concocting the whole thing in one document, jumping back and forth between bits of deeper focus (small assignments decided upon that morning and worked into their final form before moving on) and something akin to an outline (I tend not to outline, but the overall structure of this Work is all-too apparent); if a bit comes to me, I throw the inchoate version of it in the section where it will live in wait of its potential tenure as a small assingment for crafting and refinement.

(Note/beg/plead: iA Writer, please add “jump to section heading” in a not-too-distant update; it would make life even simpler.)

Arriving at the point: as I’m now working in the absence of that secondary, physical backup, I’ve stopped deleting anything, favoring instead the use of a second document, “(TITLE) - CUT”: everything I would otherwise delete goes there instead – cut/paste. Never know when I’ll need it or use it: a case of the right phrase, the right turn, arriving at the wrong time, waiting for its moment in the sun – or final obliteration upon the work’s completion and archiving.

And lo, my office smartbulb has turned off for the day, a symbolism not at all lost on me.

Tyler W. Weaver @twweaver