History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Writing Spring Cleaning

Path surrounded by spring flowersWe’re edging toward spring in the northern hemisphere, which makes now seem like a good time for a little writing spring cleaning!

Many authors have a folder on their computer where they dump a lot of half-finished projects, snippets of dialogue, and story ideas. You might call it “pieces” (like I do), “junk,” “ideas,” “someday,” or another name. Spring seems like a great time to revisit some of those partial projects and see what you might want to dig out of the pile to work on.

You may find that nothing in the pile inspires you, but you might also find that there’s a great idea that you’d forgotten about lurking in this folder. It’s worth poking through it every now and then to look for those awesome things. I’ve pulled several almost complete stories from my “pieces” folder in the past, and with just a little work and polishing, they’ve been ready to submit and sell! Even if you don’t have something close to done hiding out with your “pieces,” you might still find inspiration or an idea you are ready to play with now, even if you weren’t when you put it in your folder!

Unlike some spring cleaning, I don’t recommend digging through this folder with an intent to get rid of anything. Even if you don’t find anything to use now, leave the old pieces there, just in case they’re waiting to spark an idea down the road. And if you’re extra ambitious, you could make a note in your planner (or whatever you use to schedule future work) to come back to this folder again in three months or so!

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