But I stop to muse: Look at these hundreds of pages of letters exchanged in only seven years. Typed or handwritten originals from recipients; carbon copies of my replies. Yes, we wrote long letters then, and treasured them enough to keep them.
And the journals. Spiral bound notebooks that I kept by hand daily from 1979 until a couple years ago, though the past ten years or so are scanty. That’s because I started using the computer for all my writing.
The journals had been my “commonplace books,” as I thought of them, modeling myself on Virginia Woolf. She kept notes of her reading, notes for writing projects, and personal reflections all in one consecutive notebook. Once I started thinking of myself as a writer, I imitated her practice.
So in these boxes of notebooks is a record of my every thought during about thirty years.
And they all have to go.