Most of us have a drawer–a trunk, a closet, a garage, a basement–filled with things we don’t use but can’t bear to part with. Some of it’s useful, some of it’s not. Some of it’s interesting, if only to us. A lot of it is sentimental. But we keep it because somehow it’s become part of our lives. It says something about who we are and what’s important to us.
Writers not only have the usual stash of tangible stuff, most also have files and notebooks filled with intangibles—fragments of story ideas, notes about experiences, op-ed pieces on topics they’re passionate about–that they haven’t sold or maybe even tried to sell, but that haunt the attic of the mind.