In our mad preparations for moving at the end of the month, Loving Husband and I have been sorting through stacks and stacks of paperwork. (We're both packrats, which is a real problem when we're also both messy as heck and have trouble maintaining a filing system that actually works.) We decided that we're keeping relevant paperwork and are ditching things we don't need.
So I finally threw out all my rejection letters -- dating back to 1994. Every single one (in hard copy) is gone. Later today, I'll do the same for my electronic rejections.
I also ditched a pile of notes for my first novel, that elusive Great American Novel, the failed contemporary fantasy. The notes went back 16 years, and they formed a stack that was more than one foot high.
At one point, I will be starting from scratch with the GAN -- with no baggage. (Yeah, I still have electronic copies of the actual manuscript versions. Those I'll keep. But the notes, the half-formed thoughts, the stuff shackling me to one vision of that old novel, those are gone.)
It's damn liberating. And kind of sad -- it's sort of the end of an era. But I've decided that this move is going to herald a new mindset, one that's not shaped by constant reminders of rejection. Instead, I'm going to focus on my successes, and on constructive feedback that will lead to future successes.
That, and chocolate. :)