I Never Thought I Was a Pack Rat
25 August 2009
A string of technical difficulties this past week: overload of my laptop hard-drive; a bug in my email program that wreaked havoc on my email archives; my laptop power cord went kaput; Internet connection issues (related to the email bug). Ugh. At such times, my version of road rage rears its ugly head, and I become a very, very, very unreasonable human being. I begin to see the occupational hazards for tech support people.
In all this, I’m having to evaluate the contents of both my hard drive and my email archives (some 8,000 emails). Time to sort and purge. God, it’s painful. I pride myself on the fact that I strive for a clutter-free environment in my material life. But in my digital life? Uy yuy yuy.
Email archives are essentially personal journals. What is the future of the email archive? Will we soon be seeing “The Collected Emails of David Foster Wallace” in hardcover?
As for hard drive files, I’m struggling with the twenty-three complete and partial drafts of Long for This World, each dated approximately monthly over a period of two years. Any counsel from writers and/or highly-organized digital archivers out there? “Get an external hard drive,” one friend has already advised. I guess that will be my online research task this week.