Hi, I’m Aila. And I have a problem.
Today’s scheduled blog post was supposed to be about my other hobby: Weaving. You know, those big pretty things people sometimes hang on their wall? Yeah, I enjoy making them.
But I’m home sick today (yesterday for you) and I don’t feel like setting up the photography I’d planned for the original post. So maybe some other time.
Today, I’m going to clean out my laptop. It’s been a while and let me tell you: It’s a freaking mess.
As you all know, I have a slight addiction to Canva, so there are tons of images I need to get rid of. I may randomly share some of them I like but no longer have a need for—much like when you’re cleaning out your wardrobe and you find that shirt you haven’t worn in over a decade and you know you aren’t going to wear it again but you have to put it on one last time before you can truly say farewell.
Just to give you an idea of what I’m working against:
You see how small those icons are, and you see how far I could keep scrolling. You figure it out. I have a lot of work ahead of me. Some of you are judging me right now, and that’s fine. I judge me too. Some of you are thinking, hmm…that’s not so bad.
Again, much like cleaning out a wardrobe where you may put your clothes into three categories: keep, donate, discard…I’ll be attacking this with three categories for my files: keep, delete, or store. If I choose to “store” something, I’ll move it over to our cloud drive LOVE having one of those, btw. If you don’t have your own cloud—which can I just say is a very strange sentence—then you could use either a thumb drive or something like Trello, or you could email yourself certain items I guess.
I like Trello for this sort of task because it would be easier to navigate later than emailing yourself. Anyway. I’ll share some stuff as I go!
In order for me to keep something, it needs to be something fairly recent, or something I am currently working on. Also, I will always keep a copy of my formatted novels and their cover files. Never know when you might need those.
Media Kit | Obviously I’m going to keep things like my media kit. I mean, sure, it’s unlikely anyone is going to actually request it (and also it’s available in downloadable PDF on my website), but I need it at the ready if someone actually does reach out.
Some may think it’s a little on the overkill side for a small-potatoes-indie author such as myself to keep one of these handy, but much like dressing for the job you want…I’m approaching this as if succeeding is the only option. No matter how long it takes. I also have one specifically for Alabama Rain.
What else might I need to keep?
Redbubble Designs | Sure, I may have sold more mugs this month than I have books.
Which is why I’m glad I started my Redbubble store. I have a tendency to work on Redbubble designs when I’m stuck on a plot point or need a writing break. I like to easily look back on what I’ve already done…the next time I do this digital decluttering, I will likely move these over to “storage” and keep my next batch. Like I did with my most popular design on Redbubble, entitled “Have You Seen My Plot Bunny.”
Business Card and Bookmark Designs | Obviously I don’t want to design new cards or bookmarks every time I want to print them. Best to keep them handy—and that goes for being on your person, too! Never know when you’ll meet someone who is interested in your work…but that interest only extends as far as their memory. They’ll probably forget about you and your book(s) by the time they get home.
Anything with an expiration date goes. Promotions, giveaways, etc. There’s no reason to keep something I will never use again. (I mean, we all have that one pair of jeans, but you know what I mean.)
Old Promos | Some of them were more fruitful than others. Take this one for example. One of many to go the way of the Dodo bird, but one of the most frustrating because no one entered. Not a single person.
Giveaways aren’t special anymore. And there’s the thought they devalue our work. But there’s also something about them I find fun which is why I haven’t altogether given up on them. Yet.
Old Blog Graphics | As long as I don’t delete them from WordPress, I’m good. They just don’t serve a purpose hanging out on my laptop anymore, you know? There were some good ones, as far as I’m concerned. Which is good, since I make them all.
These are things I may actually need again, either for inspiration or like my seasonal social media headers. Sure, I may make a new one…but some of them I spent a lot of time on and I feel they have little mileage left in them. It’s not my fault the season changed.
Random Old Pictures | This one, and many more, have nothing to do with writing but bring me some joy anyway. This little duck is one of my first attempts during my garde manger class in culinary school. Who knew yellow squash, carrots, and cloves could be so darn adorable. Bonus fact about this little guy: As soon as I finished this duck was the moment I found out my chef instructors had chosen me to go to competition. It was a great day.
Unused Book Covers | I’ve made no attempt to hide the fact I make a book cover sometimes before I even finish the first chapter of a project. It’s just a part of my wacky process. It spurs me on when the writing gets tough. It also allows me to access memories when I have to leave the idea to complete what I was originally working on. This happened with Alabama Rain when I was supposed to be writing Sex, Love, and Formalities. It happens all the time. Unused covers go into storage so when I’m ready for them, they’re there…but not so close at hand that I’m distracted.
I guess it’s safe to say the original idea for Underthings was not historical in nature.
How did I do?
I feel much better now.
When’s the last time you did a digital declutter? Tell me how your 2019 is goings so far! ♥