Thursday, November 27, 2014

Clean Out - Goodbye post

When you’re a writer and a hoarder it is easy to accumulate lots of paper and information.  After all, you never know when it mind come in handy.  In a filing cabinet I have dutifully stored items pulled from magazines and newspapers that I thought could be an idea for a character, a story or a poem. There they have sat in the drawer until recently I decided it was time to do a clean out, not just of the filing cabinet but of my study.

During that time my son phoned wanting to know if I had copies of poems he wrote as a child and young teenager. Did I have copies? Of course I did. What mother doesn’t keep such mementoes? Could I quickly find them was an entirely different question?  After some searching I found them, along with some other keepsakes that made me smile and sometimes cry, in one of two large boxes hiding under my desk because to date I have found nowhere to unpack them. Maybe when I sort through the accumulated and largely out of date, I suspect, writing information I have stored over the years I will find a spot in the desk or bookcase. 

At the moment the bookcase is like this with only one shelf that has been partly attacked. 

In it I found information about magazines and publishers, some of whom no longer exist. I found research about lighthouses,

 limestone caves, the brain, owls, alpacas, penguins and various other random items. 

There is also one shelf and a half filled with exercise books of my quiet times over the years.   Otherwise too often I tend to forget.
Many of those have formed the basis of devotionals and bible studies written over the years. They will probably remain, as I find it helpful to look back and see how God has answered prayers in the past as well and lessons He has taught me.

However all the other writing tools and information needs a serious call. After all, some of those things were pulled out of magazines before the internet came to such prominence. If I did need them, I could easily Google the information back without taking up room with shelves of folders of paper information. My recycling bin is going to get a serious boost as it has already.

When it comes to old manuscripts that haven’t been published, I feel I should be ruthless if I am not planning to write any more. And yet..... Somehow I am loathe to part with them. As I say goodbye to this group and other writing groups and activities, I feel I am at a closing of doors. I just can’t quite bring myself to close the door tight. 

So who knows as  continue to go through and clean out the study it may make it clearer about stopping writing or, it could evoke some new ideas. Time will tell. But for now it is goodbye from me. Thanks for being a source of encouragement and blessing over my time here. Bye all.

Over the years, Dale has written fiction, poetry, children’s fiction, bible studies and Sunday school lessons. More information about Dale can be found at or on her Write and Read with Dale blog


  1. Oh, Dale, what a brave, hard decision you have made, to stop writing. We'll miss you on this blog -- I hope you hang around as a reader -- and I hope your future unfolds as it should, writing or no writing. Best of luck, my friend.

  2. We will miss you, Dale! Blessings to you on your new journey ahead!

  3. This doesn't feel good, Dale, to be saying goodbye to you here on this blog! But I do understand that sometimes we need to close the door on some aspect of our lives at least and move on to the next thing God has for us. And maybe that thing will be giving you your writing back! I wouldn't throw away those manuscripts and close the door tight, Dale, either. Even if that is what you're supposed to do, it can wait until another time. God bless and give you peace in it all.

  4. All the best, Dale, wherever your new adventures take you!

  5. Thanks Alice, Lisa,Jo-Anne and Kara, for your kind words and thoughts. Since writing that blog a couple of weeks ago now, I have thought I may still write the occasional poem or devotional, just not novels. But who knows? I will definitely still pop in from time to time here.

  6. Dale, we will miss you so much. But I agree with the others. Don't stop visiting us, and don't throw out the already written material. The Lord may well use your gifts again after a sabbatical. Francine Rivers didn't write for years - and since then she's done her best work. Throw out the ideas by all means. Ideas are all around us. But don't lose all those precious words you've already done. You just never know! Blessings my friend!

  7. Dale, thanks so much for your insightful and faithful contribution to our blog over the past three and a half years. We'll miss your friendship and your posts, and I'm glad to hear you're planning to visit our blog and stay in touch :)

    I need to do a big clean up of my writing files that's also long overdue. Finding the time to do it is my biggest challenge.

  8. Thanks Shirley and Narelle for your encouraging and kind words. It's been good to belong to this group with such lovely people from all over the world.

  9. I don't think you should throw out any of your writing. I think that it can be something you can keep forever...pass it on to your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren... I look forward to future posts.