Since I dumped 6 drafts of T.U.B.E. (2+ years worth of work), I get comments like these quite often: “Don’t delete your words! Save them for reusing!” And I considered this sage advice, but 6 years of writing have shown me that I NEVER return to the writing I’ve discarded. And when I do, it holds me down like a dead weight. (All T.U.B.E. drafts are saved, but I never even look at them. They’re saved purely for downloads on my site for those curious about the process.)
It’s very tempting to hold on to your discarded words. There are numbers associated with them. Numbers mean accomplishment. Accomplishment means bragging rights. And bragging rights can easily drag you into the pit of procrastination.
Say, you have 500K words sitting on your computer. They're filling you with a sense of pride. Half a million words! How cool would it be to say at a party, "Yeah, I'm a writer. I'm working on a novel. Wrote half a million words..."
But these are just words, and the thing is, as you grow and develop as a writer, you’ll come up with better ones.
SO LET GO OF WHAT YOU’VE DISCARDED.
It’s like cleaning out your closet. There are things you want to hold on to out of fear, but once you let go of them, you feel a weight lifted. You feel like a new beginning.
P.S.: Speaking of closets, try out the KonMari method for cleaning out your house. We did it last year, and the experience was unforgettable (and all the clutter is gone!—both from our closets and our heads).