I’m sick of filing and recording. Yesterday I took off from work and spent the whole day catching up on my record keeping. The first entry I made in my first record book (the kind you buy at an office supply house with lined paper), reads, FROM DAY TO DAY, March 1959, 5,600 words. It cost 16 cents to mail. I submitted it to Atlantic, The Virginia Quarterly Review (8/1/61), and Arizona Quarterly (8/29/61). All three rejected it and sent it into ignoble retirement in a dark drawer from which it was removed sometime later and thrown away.
I’m now on my second record book, identical to the first, and on page 52 of the line item entries, which is #1,428. But I’ve become so dependent on my computer files these days that I sometimes let long periods lapse between fits and spurts of playing catch-up and I know that I miss a lot this way.
Today I’ll continue my quest by trying to track down where I’ve submitted each unsold piece in the files. Yesterday all I did was add things I’ve written to the list. Forget the dates. I settled for the year. Or even an approximation of the year. Whew! I’m discovering computer folders with only a few words or suggestions or outlines of ideas that struck me at one time or another as worthy of developing further. I think I could work for the next six months just messing with those.
In this day of technology I realize how old-fashioned this must sound to many or most of you. I can’t explain why but I still need that written record to remind me of what I’ve done or tried to do over the last 57 years. The computer is a fantastic tool (got a new one yesterday; even got it out of the box) but I need something that won’t crash or get wiped out one day by my careless fingers or a capricious act of nature.
How do you keep track?