Writing and Publishing

Why You Should Save All Your Writing

It’s disconcerting to admit, but I’ve been writing for 40 years. (Would you believe me if I said I started at birth? I didn’t think so.)

Much of my early work has been forever lost. This includes school assignments, teenage angst-poetry, and short stories. While there would not be much of worth in that batch—and society will likely benefit through its permanent loss—I do wish I had kept them.

It would be good to be able to look back and see my progress as a writer. It would have been affirming to see the sheer quantity of what I’ve written. And some of what I wrote then might have been fodder for new works today.

Even more upsetting is that I have no record of more than 100 columns that were published in the 1980s. I didn’t keep the original version submitted or save the approved printed results. While some of those columns would have been dated or too specific to be of value now, others could have been adapted, repurposed, or put into an anthology.

Alas, those possibilities are no longer options.

So take it from one who learned the hard way, saves everything you write, everything you submit, and everything that has been published. You never know when it might come in handy.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s book: Successful Author FAQs: Discover the Art of Writing, the Business of Publishing, and the Joy of Wielding Words. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book Successful Author FAQs for insider tips and insights.

By Peter Lyle DeHaan

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, publishes books about business, customer service, the call center industry, and business and writing.