Your Next Plot Went Out With Last Week’s Trash
When people ask me what I might write next, I tell them to look at whatever I just put in the trash.
Is it bad karma or what? Whenever I finally decide to throw out a magazine, erase a PDF file, or get rid of information somebody sent me in an e-mail or a DOC file, within weeks I seem to need that very thing.
Since I’m working on a novella set in Florida, I’m saving Florida info while wondering if I really need all my closet space being used up by stacks of back issues of Montana Magazine and bulletins from the Great Northern Railway Historical Society. After all, I don’t re-read those things over and over like my favorite novels.
To some extent, I save magazines because I trust their accuracy a lot more than Wikipedia and many other Internet sites. In fact, it’s amazing how many times I search on a subject and find that the Wikipedia text is an exact match to the text on half a dozen other sites purportedly run by expert individuals and groups.
So, I keep the old magazines “just in case.”
Plus, I’ve become very superstitious about it. What about you? When you throw stuff away, from old magazines to old pots and pans to vacation brochures, do you immediately need them even though they sat in your garage or closet for months without being touched?
Malcolm R. Campbell is thinking of writing a book filled with writing advice called “Your Next Plot Went Out With Last Week’s Trash.”