So you write everywhere. You write on the computer, paper and any random paper you come across. You’ve got novels, articles, screen plays, journals and short stories. You’ve got pieces finished, unfinished and barely drafted. You understand where each piece is filed, but does any one else? If you were to die tomorrow would people be able to find all your writing, and would they do what you want with it or just bin it?
My mum died last year and it started me thinking about my own death and what my family would find. Would they know what I thought was important, for example would they find all my journals. Many of us may not be in the position where universities will take our archive, unlike John Le Carre, but we may still have a large quantity of text.
I’m already planning on sorting through my paperwork and creating a death file to help my family when I die. I’m now thinking of adding an additional section to cover my writing. As we are moving house soon it gives me a great opportunity to review all my belongings (and maybe find some forgotten writing) and our new house will have a proper study so I will be able to have a defined place for my file.
My short term plan
- Identify all the locations where I have writing (digital and paper)
- Collate the writing into as few a locations as possible e.g. putting all my journals together on a shelf, put all loose papers in a file
- Write a list of all the locations and include it in my death file
My long term plan
- Copy or print writing when it is finished and include it in my journal so it becomes a repository or index
- Set up a regular task to review recent writing and collate it
- Plan what happens to my archive when I die; do I want it to be read / not read, published / not published, left to my family / given to a library
An additional wish list task would be to capture all my writing together in one place such as LifeJournal and include emails, status updates and blog posts.
Have you thought about your writing legacy? Have you developed a plan? Do you have any fears about what will happen to your writing?
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