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I was just told apparently it’s weird to have a “dump document” open where you copy and paste the things you’ve decided to cut from your written draft (right now, a motion) *just in case you need it later.* I save it in the file b/c I can’t let go. Anyone else do this?
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Yes! Especially in grad school
I do this with basically everything I write. I even have "master" dump docs with sentences/citations/authority on specific topics.
💯 alllll the time
Oh yeah for sure you need a dump doc
I start almost every article with a “notes” document, which serves the same purpose. But when editing I often make a “leftovers” doc in case something that seemed expendable on first read makes more sense later.
I also call mine ‘Notes’
I think it's a GREAT idea!!!
There was an #appellatetwitter thread on this a few years back. Soooo many of us do this. I call mine “debris”
Mine is "outtakes."
Mine is “scratchpad”
does anyone not do this
Yup- I do "notes" or "outtakes." A former colleague used "junkyard."
Oh good one! Other candidates: flotsam jetsam driftwood offal entrails
(Possibly sensitive)
“Cutting room floor” in these parts.
It works so much better than having to have 21 versions of a brief.
To be clear, though, you can have both. :)
Outtakes makes it sound fun!
Mine is "extra." "Extra Smith" or "Extra Company Y," etc.
This is good because sometimes I want to call a company “extra.”
Mine is "scrap." And I almost always read back over the "scrap" at the end of the drafting/editing to make sure there's nothing there that should go back in the actual draft.
I call mine different things but often "blech" as in, the disgusted noise I make reading my own prose.
Mine too. Or even, “cutting room floor.”
As Judge Dyk used to say, it’s where you have to leave your babies.
Mine is “darlings.” Because I murdered them. But sometimes I need to bring them back to life. ;)
I do this with video clips as well and name it outtakes. Great content later on. I lip sync music to warm myself up. I put this together from outtakes.
"junk," usually with date. i don't think I've ever actually gone back to use anything in them, but they presumably will be of use to my biographers
Yeah I only very very rarely use mine too, which is interesting to think about w/r/t writing process.
Mine's just "temp" but I have one for every brief.
I just call it notes. Now I feel insecure - I need a better name. Thanks, Twitter.
Mine is called debris too!
I absolutely do this
I've never heard of this. I save edited versions depending on the state of completion. The first writing is version 1-1, updated to 1-2 and so on, and significant changes (ordering of arguments, new supporting evidence, tracked changes from others) move it to 2-1, etc.
I sometimes have a separate file of what I want to say but isn’t on point to the specific facts of the case. I have to write them to get them out of my head to let me focus on the actual case. If they are “really good,” I save them for future cases that may or may not come.
Georgia judges are, by and large, really good at murdering their darlings.
Am I the only one who does this for everything? In our profession, our written and spoken words are our currency. I’m not into just throwing away my hard earned currency.
Not weird. I’ve always done this too.
I do this with virtually everything I write.
same. I use OneNote for this purpose. I might want that case/argument for a reply and easy to find it that way.
I just keep saving: Text2, Text3, Tex...
No, but what a good idea. I think I’ll start.
I use one note to keep all my ideas and then copy to my documents. Then later I can search one note if I want to use something in another document I am drafting.
Do this with scientific grants all the time. Especially with background and feasibility.
Every appellate lawyer I know does this. Mine is labeled “outtakes.”
I like “outtakes.” It sounds fun.
No, that’s “take-outs”
Honestly, I call this document "Leftovers".
I call mine Misfit Data
I call mine “spare parts.” You never know, a reviewer might want to know more or the information can be used in another manuscript. Nothing is truly junk. I guess I’m a thought hoarder!
An artist would call them sketches, often the basis of a new work.
Hilarious. Me three!!!
I was looking for the other lawyers in the replies. Nothing gets permanently deleted until after the case is resolved.
I am not a lawyer but I write official correspondence on behalf of my employer every day and have exactly this. Sometimes an argument or turn of phase doesn’t fit but might next time.
Not weird at all.
That's a great idea and I'm going to start doing it henceforth. Would have saved me a lot of frustration had I thought of it myself earlier!
I use a notepad app. Essential in my line of work
LOL -- I've got one open right now. I can't think of a single complex brief where I haven't generated one.
It’d be totally incoherent to most other people but to me it all makes sense (and reminds me of the late night research).
I keep a copy graveyard; it’s just part of the process.
I do it & keep it until I finalize the document. I usually call it "orphans."
Do you delete them after? Ah! The anxiety of that!
Yes—but I am a toss-it-out-so-I-don’t-lose-the-important-stuff-in-the-clutter girl
I could be better about that, for sure!
I even go so far as to start labeling the cuts. “Burning dinner”, “Arguing with Xander ”, “The chase”. 🙄 That’s when I know my brain has wondered too far into organization. Gotta get my ass back into telling the story. 🤣
Yes. I don’t like too much clutter. I’m laughing because you should see the mess on my desk at any time.
I do not care for clutter, and this sort of clutter is a bona fide issue. The struggle!
You should publish these.
If or when I no longer care about the topic (rare), no longer have access to critical aspects of the research (although that’s a maybe), or technological advances force me to do so with some lower priority items. Understatement: I’m not a fan of deleting.
Oh my god, no! Your mere words are making my heart race with anxiety.
Clutter makes mine race with anxiety.
I copy them in to a single larger doc - with a reminder section header if required.
me too! I have an “orphaned sentences.docx” for each writing project, and never delete the file after submission. why would I? 🙃
I call them "abortions". 🤷‍♀️ Weird how the child angle comes up for others...
This is brilliant.
Sure. You never know when you'll find something you overlooked in the slag heap.
Since college. You’re not alone.
I almost always do this. It has come in handy for replies, hearing prep, and even appeals.
I always do this, and am always surprised by how little of the document I ever look at again.
Literally do this with everything I write.
I always ctrl-X ctrl-V my cut text into an email message addressed to myself. When I reach the end of that round of revisions, I hit send on the email. Preserves the cut text with a time stamp. For the next round of revisions, you can just reply to the email.
Yes I do exactly this. It is NOT WEIRD.
I always call it "Scraps" and I have one almost every time I have an appellate brief or complicated motion
Mine are always titled “[some abbreviation of the opposing party’s name] Scrap”
I call it Scraps!
I do this too!!!
When I practiced law, I also did it
Not weird. I stick that stuff at the bottom until I’m sure.
I do this routinely. Most of what goes in there never gets used, but I use it often enough to justify it.
Absolutely. Mine often end up in the reply brief or a brief in a future case if they never make it back into the final draft.
That’s usually what I’m thinking. Or at least it’ll help me retrace the research rabbit hole I went down should I ever need to.
Yep. My office has started saving these in a general research folder named by topic instead of client. That way everyone benefits from the others' rabbit hole results.
Haha I am not sure mine would always be coherent to someone who isn’t me but that’s a great idea!
Not weird at all, that’s like throwing Michelin star leftovers in the bin rather than putting them in the fridge.
I almost always do that when I am working on a complex motion. How else do people do it? It helps to organize your thoughts and make sure you don't forget relevant cites too.
yup, doc is usually called scraps.
Yes. A document with scraps. Have one open right now.
Yes! I call it a Scratch file. Sometimes I have it at the end of the draft I’m working on, or a separate doc if it’s longer
That's what I call mine too :-) Two docs titled 'Scratch,' one for work and one for myself, in Google Docs & Quip so I can reach them anywhere. Been doing it for at least 20 years, it used to just be a text file.
It is cool! Although we're just getting rolling
I call it ‘sandbox’ and have structure notes etc in there as well. If it’s a short document I often just have it as a draft email open in outlook
I do this too. And anyone who doesn’t is a fool!
All the time. I save them as “notes” for further briefs and/or argument.
Not weird! I have an irrational fear that a partner might suggest adding the substance of what I’ve cut. What am I going to do then, rewrite it?! No, it’s safely tucked away. (This has never happened.)
I have that too! Always concerned that I’m going to have to try to research again and not find the case because I found it via a 2am rabbit hole search one time.
I'm just sitting here in awe, wondering what life is like for people who have the audacity to *not* have a dump document? Just... living recklessly, all that confidence. Typing with actual swagger. So ballsy.
It's definitely happened to me on multiple occasions!
That happened to me once in the pre-computer days. Not pretty. “You wrote it just the way I told you to, but now that I see it on paper I think I like the way you wrote it the first time better. Hope you saved your draft.”
This actually happens
I’m sure it does. That’s why I, too, keep the deleted work. Just waiting in case that shoe ever drops
I do this as well - didn’t know anyone else did.
Oddly enough, I do it, but thought everyone else *did*
I’m learning a lot of people just... delete stuff. 😳
Usually, I just put what I discard at the bottom of my draft.
So many others do this!
I start that way, but eventually move it to a new document since I often need to pay attention to word counts for pleadings.
Notice not one document is even the actual draft. This is going to make a lot of people cringe.
Some drafts, this is me. Especially when I’m trying to learn some kind of complicated law that I don’t normally practice.
Yeah, that’s my situation. Our topic for the Moot Court Competition is IP, so there’s a lot of synthesizing and organization to be done.
True if I’m learning something new I will have different documents for each issue ... i.e., recently it was “Standing,” “APA-Excess of Authority,” etc.
Wow. And I thought I was anal. 😂😂😂
It’s all going to make sense when I look back and read it. ... ...right?
Yes. It’s the organization - presenting it in a logical order that makes sense - that I find the most time consuming (after the research of course - I tend to get sucked into rabbit holes.)
The hardest part is finding the actual issues. When you don’t know the law, you can’t spot the issues. So it just takes a lot of reading and briefing. 75 cases too in our “closed world.” Takes up a lot of time.
True. That’s part of the research, but you get better at it with experience
And it’s part of the fun! 😀
I've thought of doing this but what holds me back is that I fear that unless it's well organized and maintained it won't be any use later anyway, and I'm not putting in that kind of work organizing literal refuse.
Sounds like a lot of people keep it pretty organized. I can, depending on the length of the memo, but most of the time I don’t. To anyone else it’s a page of random cases and excerpts, but to me it’s a security blanket.
I often start a research process with a scratch document I use for research notes, and I'll usually save those at until argument. Not everything in there will wind up in the brief and it will usually just be an outline of points with some key case citations, nothing like a draft.
Or use Evernote or Mac notes app and then you can easily search all your notes at once
Yes. I use OneNote the same way.
I note where it's from (chapter, or key event) and the date it was removed, and separate each chunk with a space, most recent first. Not otherwise organized, other than specific to the WIP. Pretty simple.
Search feature should retrieve your “outtakes“.
yep, mine go after project, shit, sooooo many options
Organizing can be overrated. If you ever need to recover a paragraph or sentence, all you need to do is remember one word or phrase to search by.
I call mine ‘Research’ which is very generous.
Mine is “scraps”. Have one for each project
My documents like this have always been called 'overspill'!
Yup, count me in for "scrap."
I call it reply fodder. 😂
I’m a “scraps” person too
Mine is “oddbins” - much bigger than any piece I’ve actually finished
I like "scraps" sounds good I'm gonna use it
I’m on the “scraps” bandwagon too.
I use “scrapbook” so not far off
I have "Scraps" for every document, too.
Mine is Castoffs. And I go back to it for at least one item on every assignment.
That’s what I call mine too!
This is exactly what I do
Ha that’s how I feel about a lot of what I save. I think to myself, “this isn’t super relevant but what if I reconsider my argument and it becomes relevant again? Do I want to find this/type this out again?”
Someday someone will inevitably ask me about this topic.... so I email myself interesting research, cites, removed language from briefs, etc. It HAS happened before.
Yup and it's called 'cuts'. Most useful document that I've written.
As a novelist, yes, I do this all the time. Even when the book has been released I save scenes I cut. Why would you NOT do this?
Your 22nd century biographer thanks you.
I don’t, but it’s a great idea actually.
I absolutely do this. Call it a Discard
I'm not a writer, but I often keep a scratch file of just bits and pieces of whatever I'm working on.
I do this with every brief. Even if the cut material never makes it back in. (It usually doesn’t.) A purgatory page (my name for it) saves me the agony of killing my darlings all at once.
I love the name purgatory page!
I do this all the time for everything
I absolutely do this! You never know if the argument might come up later. Or you might need another fact again
Right! Rarely do I ever need something on here but it happens enough that I’ve decided “I’m not going all the way down that rabbit hole again.”
Exactly this - hate rethinking good work. It’s like the agony of redeveloping text after a computer crash.
I will Ctrl + Enter and store anything at the bottom of the document
It's a good thing to do and One other works really well for stuff like this, especially of it's a big project and you have several categories of dumped things and background materials
OneNote, I meant!!!
I have a whole tab in OneNote (it saves automatically, which is profound blessing) for this.
I keep a OneNote tab open for this exact purpose. Never know when it will come in handy.
I've always done this!
Yes. Every brief or major position letter.
I do this and feel better that it's somewhere ;)
I’m the same way!
I have a whole Note on My Yahoo! Notepad titled "Resources" and consisting mostly of things I want to have handy, or links to them, for use in online discussion. For graphics, I have a corresponding folder in my mail account.
This sounds like a really smart idea and I wish I'd come up with it first
I create a new document before making a significant cut for this very purpose.
Absolutely. I've heard it called "sandbox," which I like.
Awww I like the “sandbox.”
Yes, all the time...and I often do use what I've dumped..
I do this with an email draft. I also have a file where I keep Contract language that I like and use all the time. Don’t need to reinvent the wheel everytime.
Ah! That’s so good!
Your words are like your children. Brilliant.
Absolutely. I almost never ever go back to the dump document, but it helps overcome any psychological barriers to just wholesale deleting things
Sure do. Mine are “deleted scenes.”
Oh this makes it sound so much more interesting!
File > Save as - just save a new version v2 and the prior version with the old material will be there.
wait....there are people who don’t do this??
Apparently!!! I don’t understand. How can you calm the anxiety that you won’t be able to find the cite you had before? Re-typing it all? Gahhh!
Omg I wasn’t even considering citations. Absolutely not.
Dump document 4Ever.
I generally just save new versions with a new name when I make big changes, putting the new date on what I save. That way I don't lose anything. But the dump document makes sense.
Not only is your "dump document" not weird, it is essential for anyone who spends a lot of time writing. I cannot write anything without one.
Of course. I often email it to myself in case we need it later
I do it more with spreadsheets, the challenge is organizing the information so it can be useful later.
With everything. Also safer than my occasional method of typing a bunch of returns and putting it later in the document (ask me how I know)
Absolutely, and if I have a little spare time I’ll try to organize/label it in case it’s useful for other docs in the future
Call mine “outtakes”. Have 1 for each writing project.
This is one of the best tips that was passed on to me over 10 years ago. Especially because these cut bits can help you with a reply!
Which is better, a dump document or saving the whole document under a dated name before each major change?
My word program does that for me, luckily, so I guess I have both. When I’m really anxious about it, I email drafts to myself just so I know I can recover it in a meltdown.
Been there done that too
I do all of these things.
I do that too. It’s just good lawyering.
Google Doc can be edited offline and automatically backed up when connected to the Internet. It has revision history too. This could help avoid manually emailing drafts to yourself. // With that said, I have a dump area in my doc too. It's easier than looking though history.
Me too ( email ). But I also save each session as a different version. I once lost a whole chunk of something and am terrified of it happening again .... so - belt and braces .....
I do this too. I can’t help it.
I have three documents for every story. One for dump/notes/research, one for the current chapter I'm working on, and one for all of the already finished chapters (so I dont catch myself rereading and editing old chapters when the newest one needs my attention first).
You are my soul sister.
I prefer the dump doc, so I know what the hell it is, and don’t have to go through older drafts.
I prefer the latter. I can generally trust myself to remember which version it’s in.
Different purposes. I save cut material that I might revive for another piece in a separate place from drafts of the piece I cut it from.
Definitely the first, for me, otherwise will I will have 10000000000 documents and no idea how they differ from each other.
I do that one! 😂🤣😂
I’m doing both 👀
I do both. I keep paragraphs I like under “extra”
For safety, best to do both. And track changes.
Dump document separates out the bits you removed, so it’s easier to find. I’d say do both.
I prefer Dump Docs because then all removed info is sorted in one location and I don't have to hunt it down by scouring through 20 renditions of the same paper.
Mine’s called “The Boneyard”
The imagery on this one!
You never know what you might find in there!
I’ve been doing this at least since my undergraduate history thesis!
yea, why not? digital memory is cheap, Time is expensive
It do it in part because it makes me feel better about cutting text that I actually need to cut but am hesitant to excise because I put effort into it.
Totally a mental health thing. Part is f me knows I will probably never look at it again. It may be the emotional equivalent of hoarding
Same here. Fortunately pixels don’t take up physical room, or I’d be in a world of hurt. My cut-content files are usually called something like “extrastuff.” Not particularly creative but it does the job, ha.
All the time! Didn’t know it had a name. I love dump document. Gonna steal it.
Mine is usually titled “a bunch of shit” but yes I do this too. I cannot just delete stuff from a doc. Who are those people
Our IT folks would get a kick out of that one 😂
Yes. It’s legal writing hoarding. I must preserve my precious.
No reason to do it over!
Depends on how big the cut is. Often, yes.
Absolutely! The only people who don’t do that are those who have not yet been burned!
I do this, sometimes in a document and sometimes in an email to myself that I save to the file. I don’t have a fancy name for mine, but I’m tempted to steal @AppellateGuru’s “cutting room floor” title.
The “cutting room floor” file is clutch. I’ve also called it the “bone yard” because it’s where some undeveloped arguments go to rest (but may possibly be resurrected again, such as on reply). IMO having these discard files makes total sense.
Unless, of course, one has a photographic memory. Then I guess it is weird and abnormal. But for the rest of us, the “cutting room floor” file is important.
You got the coveted Twitter name!!!
All the time, for any kind of writing project. Notes for [project]. I advise my students to do this too when they're revising.
I’m more of an editor now but yes, I definitely do this and approve. It hurts less than summary execution of those words you fussed over.
yes definitely!! and/or every time i sit down to work in whatever it is i “save as” and retitle it with the date, so i end up with no less than like nine versions of it in various stages that Anxiety Brain refuses to let me delete “because i might need it later!”
same or I’ll be like “JohnSmithDepoOutline_Final” “JohnSmithDepoOutline_Final2” “JohnSmithDepoOutline_Final3” “JohnSmithDepoOutline_Final THIS ONE” “JohnSmithDepoOutline_Final SRSLY FINAL DOC”
😂 exactly. I know I'm near the end when I start cursing in the file name. "OmfgsrslyTHISistheone"
and/or message for my self “DocTitleASH_PICK_THIS_ONE_FFS”
I’ve been known to do Final Really, which gets a rise out of staff.
Oh I was afraid I was the only one without a dedicated file, but instead have V1 V2 V3-submitted V3-comments V3.1, V3.2, V3.3 V4 V5 V6-submitted ad nauseam.
OH adding submitted is smart. I gotta do that 😂
Lol! That was me with my PhD thesis many years ago! My supervisor thought it was hilarious!!
I'm a professional grantwriter and I'll have a list of the file names like that, but you know it's getting serious when I start doing a timestamp as well, like 953p
Also, somewhere in my phone I have a photo of someone who actually got a tattoo with the Microsoft image for a Word doc and final final final
Incredible 😂😂😂😂
Absolutely, especially if it's a heavy revision.
I do this with art, but I usually leave it on another layer in Photoshop. Sometimes my layers build up because of this lol
Of course I do. Why would people just delete potentially useful writing?
And I often use the junk document!
I call them notes. If it’s longer than a day project I absolutely save it
I am an engineer. I do this with designs, code, and a lot more. I think anyone who doesn't do this is weird...
I do. Mine is called "Disjecta membra".
I think it sounds like a good idea.
I sometimes do it. Not often. Also I'm pretty sure I've never gone back to it... Ever. Bahahaha.
I do it more often but also so far have never made a trek back to the use the discards :-😂
I have a line in the document. Everything above the line is edited into readability. Everything below is a snippet that isn't yet or was cut earlier. As I write, the snippets slowly congeal into new edited paragraphs, or stay in purgatory.
I always do it, and I have been very glad I do a few times...
I thought everybody did that...
This isn’t weird at all. It’s smart.
It’s not weird at all. You might need it for the reply.
This is when I usually just create a new version of the brief for the shortened version (thankfully I’ve always worked places with doc management software so I don’t have to have new file names for all the versions).
This better not be weird because it me. 😂
Mine is the kitchen sink.
Yup! 🙋🏻‍♀️ I call it “outtakes”
I do this all the time. For me it's called "scratch"
Yep. I spent good time writing that trash - can’t bear to see it deleted 😂
I do this before and after. I keep all the quotes from cases I really want to use in one document. Then I moved all the cut sentences over there and keep them all just in case.
I do this, *as well as* keeping a history of my changes in git! So if it's weird then I guess I'm doubly weird...
That’s what a form library is for, in the transactional world. Start from the standard and conform to fit. Avoids sweeping in past one-off mistakes or concessions
Oh I totally do that
There’s nothing weird about this at all. I often do this.
If you work in Latex you can just comment it out. Most of my documents are 9/10 commented out stuff and when I think about it I start to hate my life..... but at least it's not git!
I do this with coursework. Having a 2000 word count often means cutting most of the good stuff out and I don't want to waste it.
Everyone does this.
I’ve always created a “net draft” to house all possible materials, links, quotes, devil’s advocate ramblings, etc. When I’m ready to sculpt/whittle down, I use a *copy of that broad net thrown* that’s a composite of my own research & thought processes. Very useful later. Save it.
I often do this too.
I do it and I save it for just about every substantive document I work on. Super helpful, especially for piecing together trends in case law/making use of quotes that pop out but it isn’t instantly obvious where it would fit. Freaks out people in Sharepoint documents
Yup, every time too
Yes. Sometime I remember a bit of info but not what source I got it from. For that reason, I keep interesting tidbits with sources and links, knowing I can find them later in a search. An advantage of electronic documents.
Not weird at all. Only weirdos don’t have a dump document
I was like “wait you just... cut things and then they’re just... gone?” 😱
I do but I never actually end up using any of it. Guess I cut it for a reason.
This is standard operating procedure for me. Always.
Yes. I call it either the midden or the graveyard
No, but it's common.
All the time! For every single paper.
yep. just in case....
I call it “cutting room” or “snippets”
I just save old drafts. But yeah, you never know when that obscure point will suddenly tie everything together (not). Also, I think this is a habit of people who write slowly--fluid writers know they can just rewrite.
Oh, I absolutely do this. It makes it so much easy to cut things if I know I can access them later should I change my mind. I rarely do, but still. And sometimes a darling or two makes its home in another piece of writing.
Yes! I’m very picky about the order I present information in and the general flow of writing so I tend to move things around a lot. Plus, I feel like I put in WORK writing that content and while it didn’t work in a certain spot, it might come in handy elsewhere!
Yes. And I end up never using most of it, but it’s nice to have anyway.
I do, normally in the same document at the bottom though.
I should start doing this 😳
It's a GREAT idea - much easier to cut stuff if you're not destroying it forever - and believe me I've found places for my "darlings" later.
Never throw anything away. A big chunk of my 2018 AJPS article with Dan Carpenter and Ben Schneer was an abandoned dissertation prospectus from 2009.
If you craft text in Google docs, all edits are saved in a version history, which is less frustrating than having to move between documents and remember where cut text was initially. Trust me, I've been there.
I don’t write but that sounds really quite smart to me
I save new versions when I want to cut or make big changes. So, sometimes, lots of versions.
Always! Mine is called “outtakes”.
(Possibly sensitive)
Of course! I do this with contracts I’m drafting.
I call it detritus. Because I'm pretentious. I also save all my earlier drafts in case something doesn't make it
And when I say save, I mean I have physically printed out copies. I print out my drafts so I can write all over them.
That’s next level. I definitely don’t do that.
I don't see a problem with that,
Never heard of it, but it's a great idea.
🙋‍♂️ every time.
Same. Not every time, but often
Absolutely. Mine is called “darlings.” (As in “kill your...”)
Then call me weird! 💁🏻‍♀️
Definitely! And I have a "possible document" for ideas and clips of things I want to consider but I'm afraid I'll forget!
Not weird at all. I call the files [client name] helper.docx
HELL YES. I call mine the scratchpad.
Not weird at all.
...there’s people who don’t do this? That’s weird.
I literally did this while working on a brief *today.* Who doesn’t do this?
I do it. I never know if I’ll want to use it for another version of the same article or post.
i absolutely do this, in case i change my mind later.
I routinely do this. It makes it so much easier to cut. Once I cut an section X to reach arbitrary word count, put it in dump file, expecting referees to want this for R&R. Referees said, "author should do X," so I did! Sent to editor, "sorry about word count." MS accepted.
If that helps you mentally to get past deleting it, then do it! There is a saying amongst writers that you need to be prepared to “kill your darlings.” We often get attached to things we write, but also need to be prepared to “kill” them if it makes the work better/more effective
I think for me it’s a mental game 😅
I just end up with v1, v2, ... cuz at those moments you describe inks it “ave as” and keep going...
I do, and once I sent it to my editor by mistake! 😩
Always. Nothing weird about this. I take it to court, too.
I do this. All the aggregated scraps sometimes make interesting standalone compositions.
I also have a "dump" timeline when I video edit.
I do it and I’m not a professional writer. :)
I do that. Just in case.
Its not weird this is critical. Unironically. Whoever said not to do this can be dismissed out of hand.
I do this and nobody ever taught me, I just started doing it, perhaps b/c I always tend to overwrite a lot and I am therefore forced to cut huge sections and it doesn't make any sense to completely junk writing that has citations that can represent hours of work.
Absolutely. One day i might just publish my dump document as a kind of Ulysses like stream of conciousness novel.
Of course! I call it the bone yard, and I retrieve stuff from it All. The. Time.
I call it the “boneyard”
Absolutely do this.
Some would say to use it as an idea box. It’s worked for me on numerous occasions.
Speaking my language! I'm always just fearful of losing a good idea, or a lead to a good idea. You simply never know what might be useful later.
This doesn't strike me as weird at all. Sometimes it's called the goody bag or the candy bag.
Yes, I sometimes just use the very bottom of a document until it gets too long and unweildly and then I move to a new doc
Yeah I totally do that.
Having a dump doc is smart. Have done it for years.
All the time. I'm sentimental (attachmental) like that.
I do this. I call it "story name__fodder."
Yes! I do this.
Hearing others have this is cathartic. I alway thought it was a weird thing to do. By the way—I rarely if ever use any of it.
I absolutely do this. It’s my outtakes document. I know a lot of #AppellateTwitter people do too
Bloopers! Ha!
It’s not weird! It helps me cut things I might otherwise be loath to delete because I know that they’re not gone for good. And I have def used content from the dump document before!
I even save these for word’s full text search later because I’m lazy and I will 100% be pasting those two pages into another brief at some point in the future!
That’s not weird at all. Why waste good writing? Just because it doesn’t seem to fit in that spot, doesn’t mean it can’t fit elsewhere
This is the smartest thing I've ever heard and I'm going to start doing it immediately.
I do this at the bottom of the document!
I totally do this and I know at least two other people who do as well. I mostly write in Scrivener and it makes this really easy, and it's a big help.
Came here to say this is basically built into scrivener
I’ve learned to delete nothing until my writing is complete. Instead I just dump it to the bottom of the document I’m writing. A dump file isn’t a bad idea though.
Yes, mine starts as bits and pieces at the end of the document under the heading “cut(s)”, then, when the writing it ready for the next step (usually review of some kind), it gets moved to a new document called “[original file] cuts”.
No, it’s not weird at all. I do the same when writing.
OMG I DO THIS!! And I even call it “[name of file I’m working on] dump”! I thought I was the only weirdo who does stuff like this. Clearly, my reluctance to delete anything extends even to word documents.
I do this with every brief or motion.
Yes! For a long time now, even before grad schooling. It's come in useful a few times.
I use a note on my Mac, but yes, absolutely have one of these
I do it for every project—even reviews—and I call it my “trash file”
Not weird. I do that with everything I write. (hoarding tendencies, but for words?)
I do this all the time - I call it my Scrap document. It lets me be a tougher editor on myself, because I know I can always put it back.
There are people who DON’T do this???
I call it “leftovers” 😂 and like so many other leftovers that didn’t quite fit with the meal... I don’t often go back to them 😅
Absolutely - was an important tool in doing revisions of my recently completed 200+ page PhD dissertation.
Totally normal and a good idea! I hate deleting ideas or sentences I have.
I do this. I think it's smart.
People don’t do this?
Mine is called “the trail”
yes and sometimes it has saved the day
Yes, I name it the same as the document but add “scratch” to the beginning. And I never delete it
I always do this.
Not weird! And I have occasionally used those scraps again thankyouverymuch.
I have too!
I invented this sometime circa 2005, when our document-management practices were just a touch above "save to desktop." Proud that it's still a (negative) productivity tool today! #MyNewMotto: Inventing new ways to #entomb wasted words in #carbonite, since 2005.
Yep. Scraps! It’s like cutting the excess dough off your pie crust — might need it to patch up the holes later!!
Maybe. or I just eat it, when it’s pie crust...
Yes. But I put them at the end of the first draft under the heading “notes not to be produced” and often end up using them later, either in that project or in others.
I do this! I never really thought about whether others do but now I know I am not alone.
Yeah, I call it ‘cuts’ because they then sometimes get pasted back in or become other parts of the paper
I started doing it. It made it a lot easier to delete things from my writing that needed to go.
I handle appeals and do this when I draft an argument but decide to drop it for one reason or another.
(Possibly sensitive)
Yup. I call the file “outtakes.”
I use the dated format a lot of other people have noted but I’ll start creating a dump doc now. I’m finding it difficult to find stuff back in time cos I don’t know in exactly which day/date what I need is in. This way, I know what I need it’s in that one doc.
Is there another possibility?
I name the files "Detritus". My computers are now filled with Detritus.doc & Detritus.docx files.
When I get to the point of cutting something I may want later, I save, the save again, but as new version, then make the big edit... knowing I can go back and find my earlier prose in a prior version. A modern doc mgt system of course makes this easier ...
I do the opposite: have a draft from which I copy/paste into a new doc if I want it to make to the final draft.
I just put it after \endinput
Notoriously!! Gotta save every ounce of that hard work
weird? hell no, I use that one for the next motion or brief. THere's honestly only so many things I put in writing and only so many ways to say em
Nothing weird about this.
Totally do this. I do not have a hoarder tendency at all. Except this is one because I never actually use it.
I call it “notes” and usually end up spending way too much time digging through it for the one cut sentence that I (wrongly) recall to be brilliant.
it's weird not to. Been doing this for ages, although I go back and forth between a separate document and keeping it in the same document at the end after a couple page breaks.
Lol. I do this constantly. I’ve got a 20-year-old doc with most of my best stuff in it.
Yes. I call mine “scraps” and start a new one each day for each project.
Always. I usually call it the "parking lot"
Yes. It's wise. But it is also like saving leftovers that you know you will probably never eat.
I have a 200-page google doc called RUNOFF
Dump *document*? I keep a dump gutter
I don’t write without one.
The person who told you this is not your friend.
Who’s calling this weird? I want to have words with them. Dump docs full of words with them.
Yes. I call that document "Document name_Lost Children."
Yeah... call it the bike rack.
i do this when i'm browsing the intwerwebs data:text/html,%20<html%20contenteditable> turns your browser tab into a blank notepad. It comes in handy.
All the time. Though I never actually “need them later”
ALL THE TIME. I did it today and saved it as “cutting room floor”
Of course! Actually two, one with nothing special text, likely junk for ever, and one for good stuff that I may well use elsewhere.....
The “person” who said it was weird is an alien. Run away before the probe comes out.
Mine is called “Cuts”
Mine is called "random excerpts"
I save it as a “scraps” 🤓 justtttt in case.
I do it all the time. Good prose should be kept. If you can file it effectively it can really come in handy later.
Yes. Why would someone suggest that’s weird. In the before times, we used to write ideas on index cards keep them for later. Cut and paste is literally built on that idea. How is time passing this fast?!
This sounds like like “extreme hoarders electronic edition”
Yes! Not weird at all. And I keep the dump document for future edits or other articles.
I do. I name the file “outtakes” like I’m a band cutting an album
I have these for everything, dating back to the 90s.
All the time
I’m sorry, everyone doesn’t do this? I thought the “dump doc” was part of “intro to legal writing.” If not, it should be.
I do, I call it “bits and pieces,” and it makes it much easier for me to edit without feeling like all that work is just junked.
I do. I always name the file “parking lot” for some reason. Can’t remember where I got the name from
My morgue file. I will raise it from the dead if I need to.
Mine is called “scratch” and it goes both ways - place to dump research on the front end and place to collect scraps on the back end.
Heck yeah. Totally necessary
That’s not weird what’s weird is telling ppl their perfectly valid writing processes are weird do you
Do it every time.Mine is called “outtakes” or sometimes “notes.”
Totally! Very useful!
Oh I do it if it’s something I put any degree of soul into
I have never done this in 17 years of practice. I have used track changes, which literally tracks every change, included deleted text (as strike through) and allows you to reinsert deleted text. I’ve also just saved versions of documents (“factumv1” vs “factumv2”)
While this works in some circumstances, you can only grep the current view. You can persuade software engineer tools (such as git) to give you running deltas, but it's a pain. Dump docs can be easily searched and bulk indexed.
Yes! I do exactly this! Just because something I've written doesn't fit in this particular document, doesn't mean it won't slide in nicely somewhere else 🙂 I've used stuff that I wrote years prior.
I have one for when I write
Me. All the time. Just in case.
Always. My advisor constantly emphasizes this
Omg I do this all the time, I now have a massive document with notes and notes of copy pasted thoughts
Absolutely. Every time I draft. I call the document “takeouts”
I used to "save as" with the date or time so that I could go back to earlier versions, now I use track changes or save as a new version on our document management system.
Doesn’t everyone do this?
Always. I call the doc “Outakes.”
All the time, every piece I write. I call it “extras.doc”
Been practicing for 28 years. Always done it, always will. I call it the Stuff file.
I do. Might need it again later in another rewrite.
I use Latex, so I just put a % next to it and it doesn’t show up in the compiled pdf. This is the main reason I use Latex. I couldn’t bear to actually get rid of material; what if I change my mind?!
I do all the time.
🙋🏼‍♀️I definitely do this.
I do this. I used to put this at the end of the doc but then got paranoid the cuts at the end would end up filed one day (never happened) so now I use a separate doc.
I do this and I’ve used stuff later!
I not only have this, I have middling documents where I flesh out ideas before I put them into the main content.
Heck yes I do that. Pfft. I even do that for well-crafted emails.
I have a VERY long document titled “not using in dissertation”
Writing my dissertation for my doctorate and always have a “dump” document. But that’s new to me. Younger me thought every idea and concept I conceived was indispensable. 🤦‍♀️
Who doesn’t do this!?
Wait. People don't do that?
Absolutely do it for any major project, and always save those files—sometimes, the kernel for the next project got dumped from an earlier one...
Absolutely. Everything I write has a companion “garbage file”
You need better document version control, you are stuck in the cesspool of Microsoft
This exactly. I call mine 'cutting board' and reuse bits in later papers and reviews. Very useful mentally to not see those ideas just be deleted.
Yes! I call it “outtakes.” Can’t write without an outtakes file, even though I almost never retrieve anything from it.
It’s weird if someone doesn’t do that.
If it’s a solo project they go at the end of the draft. Not sure I could keep track of them very well otherwise.
100% yes. Very wise.
Yep! I call mine 'Notes and Cuts.' I rarely go back and use any of it, but I always think "what if?"
Absolutely. Writing is hard work, and I’m not wasting it! I have such “extra” files for all big reports.
I always have that. And I often use that extra text later to get started with a related manuscript. So no, I don't think it's weird at all :) super useful rather
Oh yeah, call mine “discarded scraps.” Keep on for every project, and for longer projects, divide by chapter (though these typically evolve as project does).
Doesn't everyone do this?
Of course. I usually call it "text,"and outtakes from outtakes go into a file names "bits."
it's called notes.txt
Absolutely necessary due to the 180 and 360 degree digressions, and characters dropped and scene cuts, not to mention the extra depth demanded during the editorial process and 897 other changes endured during the seven to twelve years of finishing a book!
Not weird at all. Good practice, good discipline.
I do that. When I’m using LaTeX, I don’t even cut it. I comment it out of the document so it is still in the same context. Helps for proposal writing.
I usually just dump it further down the page where I have to scroll to it but yes!
Thinking more when I’m writing a document, I don’t do it for emails...
Omg what kind of monster would just DELETE the cut things?!
Haha, that being said, I never go back to the holding pen document. It’s just a security blanket.
I do this with every longish / complex draft. I even have a standard name for the “dump document”. Had no idea that anybody else did it, so your tweet is quite reassuring :-)
Me too! Mine is called ‘off cuts’, what’s yours?
Mine is embarrassingly boring: “text removed”. Maybe I’ll change it to something more fun like “Here Be Dragons” or suchlike :-)
Constantly, I don’t know how to write without one.
I call it the “clipboard” and I have one for each writing project. I usually end up returning to it multiple times to move things around and cut and paste, and sometimes I pull from them for new pieces.
Not weird at all. Most people I know have one, as do I. I don’t have a good name for it though, need to work on that.
I guess that makes me weird. I’ll just add it to the list. (Opens dump doc)
I do! Love the term “dump doc” too.
I don't have a "dump document" but I go crazy with version controls. Whenever I think I have an updated version of a document, I save it as a new file and then run redlines against the previous. I keep both "clean" and "redline" copies :P
Yes and I call it my X file
With written docs and also have similar process for things cut out of timeline in film editing. Don’t find that I frequently go searching for cut material but indispensable tool when needed!
No but I keep previous drafts so I can always go back to those to get what I deleted.
Yep. I call mine “notes.”
Absolutely! For each piece I’m writing I have a file in Scrivener called ‘Cut but interesting.’ The things in there often end up in other places.
Of course I keep a discard file! So I don’t have to think up good thoughts twice. I’ve always advised writing students & clients to do it too. It helps writers let go of their darlings.
I have always kept the cut-outs. And they often return. For me the cut-outs are at least compost, and may be seed corn for new stories.
I call it my ‘notes’ file or sometimes a ‘misc’ file.
I always keep my cut text too. Manuscraps!
I do this....Deleted stuff
Always. It is like having a storage locker for things you don't need but just can't get rid of.
For me, it’s called THE SLUSHPILE and it lurks at the end of the document
I do this. It works for me. And it's useful for me.
Absolutely! How is this weird?
I thought I was the only one
Yes all the time - my ‘offcuts’
of COURSE i do this. alway saved as "dump doc"
Yep! The file is called ‘dumped prose’. I’ve never gone back but still do it.
By “weird,” did they mean “good practice”? I think that’s what they meant.
I`m sure neither of you are alone. I don`t do this exactly, but I tend to keep stuff
I do it. Sometimes it is useful for the reply.
Why would it be weird? I do it, too.
Yes, it's called 'cut bits'. I always have one and encourage PhD students to do this too as it helps you to let go of things that don't belong in the main argument but that you love with all your heart.
Yes. It’s by no means weird
seconded. I have *a lot* of these, and have frequently been vindicated by discovering a new purpose for culled bits.
Emacs has something called a scratch buffer built in. You're implementing venerable features of the long legacy of gnu software.
Ah, who remembers "scratch" tapes and scratch disks for intermediate results that you overwrote regularly.
I have a few! Just like my junk drawers around the house.
I do this too.. my document is called the graveyard of sentences and paragraphs to be used later 😆
Yesss all the time ... i use them sometimes to prepare power point or related material ... but very often I forgot about them
Doesn't everyone?
i call mine the "Splash page"!
Literally everyone does this?
Sounds normal to me!
I have exactly this and it has always been called 'the dump'.
I've got a trimmings folder :)
Really? I always have that. I even colour code sections. Into / methodology always blue, discussion always red 😊
Have one for everything I write. It usually ends up longer than the finished piece.
I'd say it's more weird not to have one.
Yes, I call it my scratch pad.
Working on one as we speak!
Not weird at all. My MA tutus calls it ‘keeping the edits from the cutting room floor’. Makes it easier to cut things out (and put them back if you change your mind) and comes in handy for other writing too.
Of course! I think of it as writing “starter dough”.
I call it “outtakes” and couldn’t do without it
I'm convinced the only writers who don't do this are sociopaths who compose most of their documents in blood or letters cut out from magazines.
Why’d this make me laugh so hard?
I think I just fell in love with you. Don’t tell my husband. 😉
Or an adherent of the Jack Kerouac school of writing 😂
*wins the self referential meta tweet award*
Or maybe they are really coders at heart....
Well, some coders have text editors with dozens of tabs containing snippets of deleted code ‘just in case’ 😅
But would they do that word’s? Coders used to say to me back in 1998– the web does not need writers.... tell me that’s changed!
I like to think so, but I suspect not as much as you’d hope. The rise of ‘UX’ as a discipline has certainly helped.
That’s perfectly understandable. You don’t have an unlimited supply of blood and you have to pay for magazines.
I love “flotsam.” Mine is called “Outtakes,” but I may need to change that now.
"cold cuts" (in Finnish though: leikkeleet, which is closer to "filet" tbh) is the name for mine. And darlings (in my head it's closer to "goldies" in Finnish: kultaset)
Mine is "outtakes," too! I can't cut without it.
Yes this is what I call it too!
That’s what I call mine too.
definitly - and on one occasion dumped eventually the main draft and made a paper from the snips
I have never thought of doing this but I think it is brilliant and will now do it forever!
I’ve got a dump folder of sources too like book chapters or academic papers
I do it all the time.
I make a second paper out of it. Doesn't always work, but the thoughts are worth keeping.
I do this everytime I write a paper
I do this! I tell my students to do it. The emotional burden of throwing away hard work & relevant research is heavy, and when time is short this is a great hack! Do you ever use it again? I rarely do.
That's so clever!!!
Sometimes a dump document, sometimes previous versions with some info in the file name. Naming convention is something like: [document name] - DRAFT [version#] - [optional comment on this version]
When the document is finished, I'll delete most drafts but sometimes keep a few with important sections that were not used and/or clean up (or even create) a new dump doc with clear internal labeling.
Yes! Invaluable just for making progress
Totally! You never know when you might need it. Also a good starting point for things like social media posts on the same topic.
Certainly and still have use of it
I like the idea. I had a discussion graveyard once, at the end of a draft, of all the ideas I had cut from the discussion from previous versions. Useful to get input from co-authors on whether an idea should have been cut or not. And yes, easier to let go that way.
Me! I do it. It makes it easier to cut words you Spent so many hours writing when you can put them on ice rather than bury them for good. And what doesn’t belong in one project might work in another.
I do this! And they often come in very handy too. Got loads of them saved.
I like all the different names people have for this doc. Mine is “offcuts,” which is weird but too late to change now.
At the end of every draft document, I have a "graveyard".
I do this. You never know when an old gem will become useful. I hoard my cuts like treasures... :)
Yep, every single thing I write has a separate 'cuts' file in the same folder. It only has to save your arse once to be worth it
I’m just a 2L, but I do this. We are working on our moot court appeal briefs. I have ~ 10 windows open. My “dump” doc, my outline, my drafts, my cases,etc. ... I feel a little better knowing others do it too
Totes not weird ... I usually have an “Sandbox.doc” for this!
Yep. It's usually named "JustInCase."
I call it “notes”
Although I use a lot less now - don’t know if I am better (more practised) at writing close to what I want first time or worry less about cutting hard earned words.... prob a bit of both
Yes! It was a tip that @ciara_hackett gave me while doing my PhD and it's the best idea ever. It makes revisions etc so much easier and work is sitting there for shorter media pieces (if I ever get around to that). Also helpful for a book proposal.
I haven't done that, but it sounds like an excellent idea
Absolute madness to not have one... My ‘Scratch Docs’ are in constant use and have saved me countless times!
Yep. Bucket file is what I call it.
Yes! Not “weird”, eminently sensible 🙂
"Overspill." Couldn't write without it.
No, a dump doc is a MUST!
My dump file is always called "Bits" and I oftem retrieve stuff from it or use it for other projects. Somehow I accidentally deleted a large section from my last one and lost some vital reference material that I'll never be able to find again. Still bummed out about that.
I delete them and add them to the bottom of the document just in case.
Yes! I have a file for each dissertation chapter labelled "scraps" for exactly this purpose. You're not alone!
not weird; very smart in my book
Isn't this normal?
I sometimes do this, though not with a dedicated document; I know more than one person who does it that way, though.
I don’t, but I think I’ll start!
I’ve always done that. I can’t throw anything away.
Most of it is shocking though.
Do it too, as a PhD student I often reused some parts, even in my final manuscript. I'll keep doing it, it takes away the frustration of deleting. something. for. ever. and allows you to write freely without the urge to do it right the 1st time. Great self brainstorming.
absolutely ! Did that during my masters, do that for any presentations and trainings
It’s a good idea. I should do it more often.
All the time!
I used to. Now I just let go.
There was a long thread a couple of years ago on what writers named their file of saved bits cut from the main document. It was fascinating.
Definitely. Have used it on occasion.
My dump file usually ends up being about 2-3 times bigger than the document I’m trying to write 😂
Yes and I’ve often been glad I did.
I dump it to the bottom of the document until I’m done, then I delete that stuff for good
Yes! It’s a great idea, keep doing it.
Definitely a good idea! Also, I always save a complete back-up before I start cutting and pasting, in case I cock it up completely. That way I can always start again from square 1.
Mine is called 'Outtakes' and it usually ends up at least as long as the paper.
An absolute essential!
Yup, I have one.
I never let anything go to waste. Most of the time they end up in a “recycle document”, but only occasionally recycled to be honest.
It seems weird *not* to do that. I do that and have mine saved as "[File name] Removed" for ease of reference. Sometimes I even go back and reuse the text for the same or other documents.
Oh yes, all the time. It makes it easier to excise them if you know you’re storing them just in case.
Sometimes, yes. Definitely not weird.
Well I will now. What a good idea!
I do this sometimes, I call them "DOCUMENT TITLE cut bits"
They are weird. The ones telling you this.
Mine are called “To Reopen” with the date and can cover more than one project. They also include URLs to material I didn’t use but that might be useful in the future. How carefully the items are labeled is a good indicator of how stressed and how rushed I am.
Always do that - sometimes call it a ‘rushes’ document.
I always do that!
Where else should you put these? Mines are called always ”outtakes“...
Not weird! I even save it as “ProjectName Dump”
We call it graveyard document @ChukkerV
I assumed everyone did this!
Yup. And keep them for ref in the same folder as the used item. Often beside a copy-post with drops of online refs and such notes.
Not weird at all. Something i advise all my research students to do. I've quite often come back to these excised sections for related projects where they fit better.
Yes it is called manuscraps
I didn't invent it, but once I heard it all manuscripts of mine got a manuscraps partner
Of course, I heard it somewhere once so it is not mine
Of course. Every time.
Not weird. Save it. You’ll use it for blog posts, marketing, and future books.
I definitely do this! Maybe I will compile the many dump documents and see if it creates the paper I've always been longing to write!
I used to save a new version of the document every time I made major changes. Ended up with a bazillion versions at least ten of which had "final" in the file name.
Let me introduce you to 'Track Changes'
Absolutely do this. Call it the Parking Lot and it helps me be more ruthless in my cutting knowing I can our ir somewhere until I may need it (hardly ever).
Mine is “cuts”
When I write in LaTex and this happens, I tend to just comment out the removed text. That way I can bring back select bits of it if needed. Seems common sense to me.
I thought everyone did this?
Always and it has helped me more than once!
What’s weird is people trying to tell you what works for your is weird 🙄
I do this. It's invaluable when you decide to do last minute rewrites.
Offcuts! Can't always kill my darlings but I can let them have a rest elsewhere
I call it "cut outs"
I keep versions of files and go back to find things if needed. Letting it go is hard, but rereading sometimes proves that some things must go...
What you keep, even in a scratch document should be powerful enough.
I do this all the time. I save it as the “master” - my info source
Always. It makes it so much easier for me to cut and dump when I somehow feel like the language over which I slaved is saved somewhere.
I absolutely do this.
Of course! I always had a file of things cut from my PhD, things unedited ( in case I preferred the uncut version) and extra things in case I had room.
I do this. I call it an extra text doc.
No, but it makes much more sense than making a copy everytime I edit something. I'll be doing this from today!
Yes, of course. There's always a time when content might be useful in something else. Why lose good writing just because it doesn't fit in that one draft?
I dont and then im pissed when I can't remember what the thing i wanted to put back in was exactly and the try to recreate it isnt as good. I should do a dump doc but I know I won't anyways. :(
I call it ‘bits and pieces’ and I have one for everything I write
Many books have been written/edited from “dump” documents, folders & boxes, particularly after an author dies. I have a couple of articles put together from materials that were not a good fit for the original article, but were perfectly fine on their own.
Its not weird. Very practical
It’s weird not to do this IMO 😂 Makes it much easier to dump stuff that’s not working because you’ve got it somewhere. 95% of the time I don’t go back but occasionally there’s a thread of an idea I’m glad to have!
I do and my document is named 'cut bits'!
I’ve got a ton of email drafts that I’ve even titled for this very purpose. This dumping ground has come in very handy over the years! I’ve been able to pull documents re any number of subjects together very quickly based on the cast-offs from previous ones.
I totally do that. And I do sometimes need some of it later.
I do it too... Just calling it extra stuff and keeping it in my laptop forever
Not only do I do it, I advise my students to do it, too. It doesn’t matter if you never go back to the bits; it’s about convincing your brain that it’s ok to cut from your paper bc that idea or sentence isn’t disappearing forever; it just doesn’t belong in THIS paper!
Same. Or I reverse the concept and move the parts I’m keeping to a new document.
Same here. For every working paper I create a 'dump doc' for bits not being used but which I don't want to lose. Advise students to do the same.
Oh, I like this!!! I do what the OP says but I think I will try THIS out.
I’ve heard the strategy called “reverse outlining” too.
Reverse outlining is when you summarize the main point of esch para in the margin to see what you’ve actually said/argued. Really helps w reorganization, also good for cutting redundancy!
Everything Lindsay said! Plus sometimes it belongs later in the same paper, just not where you originally put it.
I use Google docs because I know I can always go back and get stuff. I don't even own Microsoft office.
Actually that’s brilliant. I wish I had thought of that.
Yep! Every time! I might find a place for it in a later draft
I do this, call it detritus
Instead of "killing your darlings," think of it like sending them to a farm upstate.
I call mine “deleteria” :)
Yep, usually a txt file. It makes killing darlings waaay easier
For almost every document I work on, I’ve got one.
I do it for every book I write. Not weird at all.
“Manuscraps”...I keep them at the end of the paper until ready to submit
Yes! Im grad school, mine was always in the same document at the bottom. When I finished my writing, I would save a final version without the parts I cut.
I used to do it all the time. I still do it with music scores.
There was a long thread on just this issue a while back I recall. The best bit was what people called it.
Not quite. I duplicate my documents each time I do an edit, so that I have a series of comparable edits in their original context. It’s a tad excessive of me, but 🤷‍♂️
Totally do this all the time!
I call these ‘orphaned bits’ and put them in a document for possible use later, or in the current doc.
Perfectly sensible.
Of course - I have loads of text files on the go in notepad++ which I use for snippets of thought, drafted paragraphs, a to-do list, things to investigate later on the web, ideas for quiz questions and all sorts of other junk...!
I have a big file of HTML that I've removed from pages I manage but I'm too stupid to easily recreate, which I keep in case I need it again. So sort of.
I do this. I only need them about half a percent of the time, but it makes it easier to cut boldly.
this is also why the trash can on desktops is a brilliant concept
+1 Functionality to archive scenes was actually one of the features implemented as a result of direct user requests in my story planning saas
PlotDash - Plan your story!
Drag-and-drop script board for screenwriters to arrange the scenes and beats of each act.
Git would also cover that case
For you and I, sure. For most people, not really. This is one reason Google Docs is so successful; it increases access to versioning and document "history" for people who otherwise would have none. Git/job it does, would catalyze humanity. Just imagine impact in academia or law.
I use git but I do also have a scratch file, for those bits that you know fit in somewhere and you might just need to put back. It’s different because it sits open for me to see. Editing is non-linear.
I do this a bunch when I am making presentations, too. Alot of things that are *good* ideas for a slide, but just don't fit exactly what I am trying to do. Will get 75% done, realize that this isn't the right frame for the audience. Save the slide, dump it to a WiP
I have so many invisible slides in any lecture I've given more than once.
I keep a writing calendar out 4-6 weeks at any given time so the similar but in my case I’ll be putting excerpts into those. 🤔
We need git-style branches and forks in our word processors
I do to but never gave my process a name. "Dump document" - Love it. I also do it while drafting email msgs. The "dump" email msg's subject line becomes "Next xxxxx"
And @paulg is right. It "makes it easier [for me] to cut boldly."
I have multiple directories called «attic», very rarely do I ever use things that are put in there, but it’s good to know that it’s not completely gone :-)
With Alfred you have clipboard history. Super useful
I do this when I design. Copy artboards to make bigger experiments. Frequently becomes the subsequent version or "trunk" in good old SVN speak.
Evernote is perfect for this.
Haha, well put! “Oh I can cut this whole bit of lovely prose, because it’s not GOING AWAY.” Leveraging denial.
Manny attach their identity to their work, so they can't see it just disappear. Musicians do this too.
Me: Let's compromise. We'll put it in the "Extra Writing" document, then we'll come back and reevaluate later. My perfectionism: Okay. But promise we'll actually do that. Me: I swear it. (I have never ever added something back into final writing from the Extra Writing doc. 🤫)
tweeted about this the other day. I almost never retrieve anything from the document, but it's a valuable psychological security blanket.
I call it the "Attic", which seems like a useful metaphor (or "Basement", I guess, depending on how and where one lives).
I call it KEEP, and add a .gitignore rule to ignore the directory of repo specific historical artifacts.
I call it "scratch"
Why? It's very much part of my git repo!
Typically it's just fragments of code mid-flight. Something that I think is important in the moment, but most often it's never needed again.
I do this all the time and pains me when I lose one of them. I actually end up creating multiple versions of the dump doc 😂😂🤷🏿‍♀️
Yes! It’s the most helpful tool recommended by one of my mentors!
I do! You never know if you might need it again. Although I never do.
You mean my "excess verbiage" file? Lots of subsequent papers have found their roots in that mound of silage.
I do it in an email draft so that I can quickly come back to it in 1-2 days and clear it. Inbox zero means drafts zero as well.
NOT remotely weird at all. HOLD ON to those gems. all the pros do it.
Duh yes obviously every time
Unless accounting spreadsheet practice has moved on, I used to do it clearing reconciled items from from accounts reconciliations. Provides an audit trail of what amounts were ticked off to what. Good practice.
My notes pad is basically a series of these. No regrets! 🤷‍♂️
It’s reassuring to reread these pieces later. Nothing more satisfying than when you can say, ‘Ah I was right.’
I definitely do this. You are not alone.
Agreed, I use OneNote for this very purpose.
ALWAYS!! Don't know if I've ever gone back to any of the dumped work but still always do it
I find it really useful -a sort of bank of ideas. And some of those files are coming up to their 21st year. Mind you, I only recently got rid of the peat samples from my PhD - finished in 2003 and moved 4 times across the UK🙃
I call it the slushpile. I have one for the book I have written. The one I use currently is for a book ms. For shorter documents, I mostly rely on Docs versioning to go back to previous deletions.
Not weird at all. Those dump documents develop into their own grown-up articles sometimes.
Yes. It's the only way to write.
I do this all the time! Makes it easier to ‘let go’ because I know I have a backup of my previous ideas...just in case :)
I call mine graveyard file and have one for each paper ever written.
Ignore this, it's not weird it's massively helpful 😃
The salesman equivalent is a PowerPoint deck filled with interesting slides, stolen graphs and factoids. Mine is called “interesting slides.”
Not weird at all. It's a good idea. I call mine "The Attic."
You can use the track change option in MS Word for this. Turn it on and view set to "No changes". If you change your mind later, switch view to "view all tracked changes" then "reject deletion".
All.the.time. It is not weird lol
Yes, I do this. When I code, I mostly use WebStorm and PyCharm. These have a built-in scratch folder where I can keep snippets of code I write that I may only use later on. So, no, it's not weird. Even us programmers do it! 😀
Us codes call it "scratch buffers". It's a thing.
I call mine “b-s-ing,” which can stand for either brainstorming or bullshitting. The double meaning entertains me privately, at least.
Why would anyone try to make you uncomfortable about such an obviously sensible writing method?
I have several for everything I write (my "Dumping Files" generally end up longer than the final draft of the thing itself). Why would it be weird?
To be honest, my Dump File is now my next book.
I used to do this, but there are clipboard caching tools that make this so much faster and easier now. I couldn't live on Windows withing CLCL (…), havent found one I like on Linux yet but there's a few options:…
CLCL is clipboard caching utility.
Yep. I very rarely revisit and retrieve things from it. is Xtra
It's a somewhat common practice in software projects to have an "attic" folder for such purposes.
I save all drafts just in case I said something better or had an idea I had to put on hold, but I have never actually gone back to these early drafts! So perhaps I need this “dump document”!!!
Totally. Sometimes, they find a second life somewhere else.
yep! allows me to edit more freely
I call mine "shit I might use later" 🙆🏻‍♀️🙆🏻‍♀️🙆🏻‍♀️
Literally have a ~~~DUMPFILE~~~.docx
Telling anyone that something about their writing process is weird seems... unhelpful, at best. And yes, I do it too.
/* in a way */
Totally. There’s a whole cottage industry of clipboard managers that’s been built around this. A plaintext file is just the archetype. And often all one needs.
Yep, text file it is.
I do and date... you can always go back for ideas
Yes. I keep a dump document for copied text that I want to use later. I find it very useful for large documents. It saves me from scrolling a lot or trying to remember what page to fill in for Cont+G
I do this and I teach my legal writing students to do it too.
Yes. Why would it be weird?
🙋 Makes editing easier.
Yes. Totally. I call it The Leftovers and much like food leftovers, sometimes they sit in the fridge, never to be consumed. And sometimes you dig into them again.
Uh yea, its longer than the document its dumped from heheh
Google Docs! Save all your changes. You can go look at them any time.
I do this. Why is that weird.
I do that too, BUT if you use something like Google Docs where there is built-in document versioning... the history of all past edits remains available still. So it can make it easier to clean up a document knowing you can go back if needed.
No but this is a great idea! Snatching this from you.
Hoards of cuts. Think of how brutal it would be to just throw them away. And if you save them, then the document you cut them out of gets a lot tighter and smoother, because you do not try to fit all that extraneous treasure (i.e., distractions) into it.
I absolutely do this, but only for major pieces of writing. I do a lot of research-oriented writing, so I always want to save those golden data discoveries even if they don’t fit the topic or tone of the current piece.
Absolutely. And even though my thesis is done and dusted, I still have that document.
I'm starting writing an new article right now and I just created my dump file. Experience has taught me too many times that if I cut something out, I later realize it should fit my argument, and I can spends hours searching for the relevant quote again...
Use a version control system. Git is free.
Totally my thing too. I call it The Outtakes.
Yup, there have been cases where things I've cut in this way have found their way back in, in an altered form.
Doesn’t everyone?!
I have one (or more) for each book I write. Some are well over half the word count of the book. I’ve never deleted any of those files. Don’t think I ever will. 😎
You mean some people *don’t*?!
Apparently 🤷🏻‍♀️
Psst I never use them though 🤫
Psst in which case if you ever delete, you are bound to need it the next day. At least that’s what happened when I quietly ‘lost’ some of the 25+ years of accumulated ‘just in case’ DIY bits & pieces...
Who are those people?! Disapproving look...
Is this shame because you do not have a file of sentences you are storing for future use/just in case? If so, it’s never too late. You can start now. You will never regret it. 🤣
I have a whole folder of abandoned manuscripts, does that count?
Anyone who can tweet about whale’s eyeballs can never live in a box of shame.
Indeed! But then I learnt this from you @AngharadBeckett , so I would say that 😆
I taught you never to throw away spare sentences, in case they came in handy again? #teachergoal4 ✅ 👍👊
Makes little difference but for every paper or book I’ve written there’s a ‘stuff’ folder - the discarded text & papers for it. Just ensure comments on old text don’t get into final docs.
I don't, but mostly because I use source control versioning so I always can go back or branch out
Very good idea
Yes, I do this. It makes editing less scary for me.
Yes, absolutely. Mine is an ‘extra’ file that has both the stuff that didn’t make it into the document or that was edited out later.
I have an 'extra' file for every 'final' file.
yes! the best feeling is when you're ready to call it 'done' and get to erase all the extras.
This is a good idea
I do this for fiction, because my characters keep getting minds of their own and refusing to go where I want them to. Might as well save the half-written scenes and hope they'll obey me eventually. Never thought of doing it for academic stuff though...
I do this 100% of the time when I’m writing or editing. AND I have re-used some of that cut out content in other works later, completely justifying the practice. It also makes it less daunting to cut out entire sections when needed.
I do it constantly - I have multiple versions of the same document, and I recommend all my students do the same. It helps, psychologically, to get you past the block of knowing a section is good but still needs to be cut. You tell yourself that you'll use it some other time!’s the parking lot part of all my docs.
Completely normal to me!!
I call it a Scratch file
I always have an excel sheet open which works both as a dump as well as a calculator to quickly do any math i may need 😅
I do it. I always name it “cutting room floor.”
I call it "dead angels," after the advice I received years ago never to "kill your angels" (stuff you've written that you like but which doesn't fit the draft).
I call it my junk drawer because often things go in but never end up coming back out. But it's reassuring to know it's there just in case 😊
This would be my 'compost pile' where ideas might deconstruct to it's simplest concepts and nourish another idea in different conditions. My best professional yields come from the compost. Any other #gardeners out there?
I am happy to report that I moved recently and I made it an absolute law, not to have a junk drawer. It once cost me a warrant for my arrest, and a $650 fine, for a fix it ticket that I decided to fight, but failed to show up because the ticket got lost in the junk drawer 🤦🏻‍♀️😫
Sounds like your junk drawer had become something more than just a junk drawer ☺️ I hope everything worked out okay for you with the ticket!
Sounds like that should be a built-in feature: "Cut and Save." But I do the same sort of thing: when in doubt, I start a new version of the doc. My drive is littered with files like "Chapt 04.2a"
I have a folder of these.
You will find scribe file of every letter, notice, petition etc I draft in case folder.
Yes. I haven't moved it to a second document, although that is brilliant. I just move it all down below the rest of the document now.
When I read “dump document” I assumed it was a detailed record of all the dumps you’d recently taken
I thought this was common practice.
I call my dump documents "junk files."
All the time. Also use it to find synonyms when working on a Google doc (hate google’s thesaurus- I make junk file a doc)
Mine is called ‘bits and bobs’. I know it’s there even if I don’t need it or ever use it.
Yes. Large file in each Scrivener project labeled Cutting Floor. Invaluable
I often have a file called “cuts”.
All the time 👍
Not weird at all. I do it too.
What yes absolutely I do this. Well usually I just scroll and keep it in the same doc so it's not adding to the myriad of tabs but yeah
Yes. I call it the Parking Lot.
Of course. What? There are people who DON’T?
I do this for everything!!! Especially essays and research papers!
Sometimes I just get really attached to a bit of writing and “saving it for later” helps me make the edits I need to make.
Of course I do. You never throw the leftovers.
Yes, for most large projects.
I do this and I teach my students to do the same.
Holy crap that’s a big mess for something you won’t use
Not weird. Very smart.
Mine is called "junkyard" when I'm deep in editing/slicing/dicing mode. I'm great with a quick paragraph, but not always certain the moment I write it where it really belongs, so there's a lot of moving around. Keeping a document like this is a win.
I do. I call the file “leftovers.”
I not only do this but advise my students to do this!
You are not alone. The post it app on osx is like a storage for thoughts. I have an idea, put it in ”storage” to be able to think about other things. Perhaps it’s more copy/paste for thoughts..? Well, something like that. :)
Yes, no, maybe, perhaps.
Totally normal. Have them all over my codebases for the same reason. Although I take flak for trying to check them into repositories by people who can apparently remember git hashes of their changes without any cognitive pain...
I have a “cuts” file for every paper I write. Sometimes when they get too full I have more than one. Definitely helps with cutting prose and sometimes I do retrieve entire paragraphs.
I almost never retrieve writing but it is the only way to cope with the need to cut. I teach students to do this too. For almost every piece of writing I have a “cut from _____” document
My desktop is littered with old versions of things until I'm finished...
I’ve never thought of doing this before, but this is brilliant. I usually just keep stuff I cut at the bottom of a doc, but that does mess up the word count and eventually I have to delete it. Your system is much better.
I do it, and Google Docs makes it even easier to do.
I have these, and I have used some of them as fodder for other publications. But mostly it makes killing a loved passage doable. "It's not dead, it will live on forever in my hard drive backup."
Always done this. It's weird??
100% yes! Not weird at all.
No it’s not do it all the time!
Yes, of course! What's more, I often mine it later for other purposes.
Of course. I can’t understand why anyone would think this is weird.
Me, definitely. Can't easily replay those sparks of creativity and storage is cheap.
All the time! I have “left over” files for every paper I write.
Oh wow. I do this, too, but for coding. I paste code snippets, output, log files, etc. It’s basically my “visual clipboard”
I do this but at the bottom of the document. Just put a horizontal line and and copy and paste below.
In @ulyssesapp I drop cuts into a ‘orphan’ file and tag it with the topic for later use.. Never let a beautiful sentence go to waste.
Yeah. Ulysses is solid. Great markup capabilities.
I do this, and not just to placehold cut stuff. If I'm stuck on wording or trying to reorganize, I use the 'dump document' as a sort of clean space to do that. When I like it again, I move it back to the draft.
I’ve had a dump file for years
I started a couple of years ago. It saves a lot of time.
The lawyers I work for re-save every draft change as “v.1, v.2” etc. so what they originally wrote is still available to copy and paste back in if they change their minds later.
I use the clipboard from @alfredapp
Sounds very sensible to me
I do this! Mine's called Word Graveyard
Not weird at all. In fact it's pretty smart.
Absolutely! I have my draft document and a notes document open at the same time!
🙋🏽it lets me edit fearlessly, knowing it’s not gone if I delete it and need it again.
yes - I call it TRASH
Yes. Maybe I might just need that somewhere.
I have hundreds of these. I label them "O" for orphans and stick them where they're out of the way.
Yes, I call it the cut file.
Every file I create has a "notes and outtakes" section at the end.
I 100% do this.
You never k ow when you might need it!
Yes! It makes it so much easier to edit knowing that what you’re cutting isn’t really “gone”, a.k.a all that hard work wasn’t for nothing. I also end up pulling from it for other projects.
I do this just at the bottom of my doc. Same idea.
I call it my “drafting board” file.
I call it a “graveyard” because that’s what @ginasue called it when I learned it from her.
'Orphans' for me. I've got a ppt one too, for all the (smart and stunning, IMHO) slides that end up cut from the lecture/presentation.
I absolutely do this as well. It's not weird, it's just being careful.
PS I have also been helped by Google Docs automatically saving old versions
Yes! I do it to free myself in the editing process. It gives me power to cut to the bone without anxiety. I rarely consult the file of cut writing, but knowing I could gives me peace.
I do this, and recommend it to all of my students. In most cases, I never reuse the disposed fragments, but it helps developing a more coherent piece of work by reducing the mental pain of deleting text and ideas.
yes, I've named it the 'shadow realm' and it's in my docs
"Cut Out 1... N"
Yes. I have an entire “dump journal” organized by date with key words in bold, and I also write the tiniest comment to myself as to why I didn’t just delete it.
Definitely, and you know? I have used it many times.
Omg I have these for every draft. So valuable!!!
I call it my copy graveyard, but "dump document" is far better!
Yes. Absolutely. I rarely go back to it (it’s dumped for a reason) but it’s a comfort to have it there
I did this throughout university. Only deleted once I submitted final documents. It’s actually so much less stressful to have all the bits there in case you revise and want to pull something back in.
Yes, it makes me more decisive in editing.
Yes, definitely!
Best practice - never waste copy
Of course. I think you may have been mansplainded.
I do this too :)
I do something like that with code sometimes
🙋‍♀️I call it my scrap file
I do! I always have a “scraps” doc
I do this. Why wouldn’t you do it?
Yep, I call it a sandbox doc.
This is a "best practice" and anything other than "weird". Txt files are small and easily searchable for later reference. I use Notepad ++, as I do this for both written documents and program scripts.
I do this for every book. I often do end up using some of the dumped bits, too! #amwriting
Weird (and self-sabotaging) not to, I’d say.
(Possibly sensitive)
I too favour “outtakes”! Also “cuttings” like it’s a gardening project...
Mine’s called ‘offcuts’
Mine are called "scraps."
“Little bits, use?”
Keep that stuff. You’ll never be sorry, and someday you’ll be very happy.
Yes, anytime I write books and articles. I name the file “book scraps”.
Yup. I call mine “Bits”
All the time. I’ve gotten burned too many times where I didn’t do it and needed something at a later time (and subsequently didn’t have it).
Whether I’m writing or editing a piece, I always have an overmatter file open.
Cleanse, what you need to hold is programmed into you, unless it's research or evidence that comes under the ethos historical documentation dump it, I used to be like this but realised because my knowledge continually expanded looking at old data was like reading child's books🌸
Absolutely!!! It comes in so handy when you need some ideas from an original draft that you overzealously cut out for word count purposes
I always have what I term an 'off-cuts' document. The bits I edit out tend to be those I've spent inordinate amounts working on and they often come in useful for future pieces.
Ah yes! Always a good idea when peer reviewer 2 says ‘this reads like two conflicting articles’ or words to that effect
Yes and I never use it.
I move cut sections to the top of the document that I am working on and only when I think that I am finished with the document, do I delete the stuff at the top. I may start moving the stuff to a dedicated "dump document" instead of deleting from now.
I put it all in the same document beneath the -30- that marks the end of my actual text while I’m working, then save as a different file before I delete it (so I still have it just in case).
You do you! If that works for you; GRRRRRREAT! 🐯 I do something similar.
I thought anyone writing anything did this. How else would you keep ideas or other stuff?
I call mine kitchen sink. And then forget which "project" it was ostensibly for.
I have one. The lovely @jenloves2read introduced me to the concept, calling it "the boneyard" <3
"The boneyard" is great! My files like this are just called "outtakes."
I call mine "the darlings file," as in "kill your darlings."
I totally do this. For each chapter in my dissertation there is a dump file. It has become very useful.
Absolutely. Always.
Why is that wierd? I keep everything I write, even if it doesn't fit in the current project it may be perfect for something else!
Super common when writing a deck.
Yes, I stand by my “graveyard”
I call it "outtakes"
this is not weird. Its smart and a lot of writers do it.
Absolutely. And I always name it « dump document. »
It's a good idea and I've literally just done it! You might want to expand the material you've cut from, turning article into chapter, or create a new article on a related topic using material that didn't quite fit. Or you might decide to restore it as it works better
It's called GIT or Google Docs history for me.
Yes! Have always used one. And invariably return to it
Yes! I do a similar thing when coding. (Comment out things I'm cutting in case I should put it back in or if I could reuse it later.)
Yep “scraps” in a folder called “store”
Of course. Doesn’t everyone? 😳
Yes. It's like, "StuffIMightUseLater.doc"
I use sublime text as my notebook instead of those note taking apps. Save my changes on Google drive so they are synced. I end up using them all the time.
Not weird at all! Mine is called 'Extra words'. Makes it easier to really cut!
Literally do the exact same thing, with the exact same name for it 😂
I call mine "take outs"
Every journalist since they switched us from Atex to PCs?
Never heard of this but I think it super cool.
It's much more efficient to use a version control system. There are online and offline options, less or more easy to use. Even MS Office has a built-in VCS in its newest releases.
I have this too but I like the cut and paste to visually see it as I’m going.
Sure, there are many solutions. But with a VCS you have all old and new pieces of text stored automatically in a timeline. You can even give informative names to key versions, so it's easy to find specific pieces. Then, you can copy and paste them between versions very easily.
Yes!!! I call it “outtakes” and save stuff for reply briefs that I regularly end up using.
Yes but in PowerPoint. So 100X more unacceptable.
Yes, and it contains all my research links as well. Anything I may need to go back to later.
Absolutely. Usually, it’s quotes from various cases.
It’s not weird. It’s the sign of a writer apparently - similar discussion in Facebook last week. Now I’ve submitted my thesis I probably ought to delete the dump files though 😂
I have this. It’s very useful
Not weird at all!
Not heard of this, will be using a dump file from now on.
Yes. Mine was called “Offcuts”
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Sometimes this, sometimes a section at the bottom of the text cut off with ————————————————————-
The editing process is fraught enough, the dump file makes it easier by making it more bearable.
Yes! Even if I pretty much know I’m not going back to the file it is a comfort to know it is there.
Wait people don't do this?
I always have a deleted stuff folder. Always. Always.
These are my purgatory documents! I also don’t get rid of them . And there have been times that I passed the text on to others or used it for other things!
Just do one back up of your entire original notes file. You need to have a record of where you have been and where things came from, and also later something you thought was not needed might be.
I do this for every book - just in case I change my mind! And sometimes I do
I do this all the time, and obsessively save drafts/versions of drafts that have bits excised. All comes in useful somewhere.
Yep. It makes it easier to edit ruthlessly since you can always add back a cut.
Always. Let nothing be wasted.
If I don't type in an editor where I can comment/hide lines, I usually keep all this dump at the end of the document. When I'm done I erase it, and usually I realize 2 days after that I needed something.
Absolutely I do this. I call it my ‘taken from’ paper
Not weird. Been doing this for years.
All the time. It’s not weird at all.
I do this too. I don't actually delete anything, but instead cut it out and paste it into a document of 'extra stuff'.
Hows that weird? I do that and actually assumed everyone who drafts digitally does that.
Oh yes! Beoken down by article/chapter it came from. It has sections.
I do this all the time! If it’s weird - I’ll accept that I’m weird and proud to be!
🙋🏼‍♀️ *Research
Yes, and I tell all my writing students too. Lets you get over that anxiety of cutting something you really love that needs to be cut.
Did this for my PhD thesis. As far as I am concerned, it is good practices to have such a document.
Why is that weird. I always do this.
As a matter of routine
Yep! ‘Notes’
Yep. I do this. I call it Outtakes. I often take bits from it to put back in the main draft or into new books. It's a good idea so you don't lose anything you've written.
I've always done this since I started typing up my ideas in my late teens. I assumed it was the done thing
Always. But my adult children don't get it
That’s not weird. It’s an organizational tool to get yourself to start and continue writing.
I do this too for organization. Also a panic and save all my browser tabs with a topic and date bookmark file. 😅
Oh yeah! 😂 In the last year or so I’ve finally started actually utilizing the “Reading List” feature on my Apple devices, and that space has just become a hoard for my future self to sort through for the diss 😅
I have a 'spare text' document which I copy & paste unwanted words, in case I need them later. I save this in folder with actual written document I'm writing.
Me too. All the time.
I always do this. Why would you not? 🤔 Unless it is a super early draft, those words and thoughts are honed and polished and tightly written and might yet be useful elsewhere, surely?
I do that all the time.
Yes absolutely--“Cut bits.doc” has accompanied everything I’ve ever wrote. I regularly “rescue” cut bits.
Nope. %LaTeX is better
In LaTeX, \begin{comment}...\end{comment}, use it all the time.
No, it's a must. I do some copy writing and I keep copies. Fancy having to recompose stuff you change your mind about or worse still delete by accident.
Kinda. I use Git for pretty much everything these days so I either comment stuff out (I use markdown) or just cut it secure in the knowledge that I can go back and retrieve it from my version control system if I need to.
No but that's a bloody brilliant idea
I do this too! And am now happy to know that there are many like-minded folk. Also, a dump document is a far better name for it that '[title] reject' which has been my default name for these things!
Have been doing this for years
I do the same. Sometimes, I remove perfectly written sentences because they don't fit. Writing is also about removing unnecessary lines. It s not so weird!
Every paper and grant I’ve ever written has a dump document. I call it my “SFD stuff to keep” (“SFD” is borrowed from @BreneBrown - shitty first draft)
Yes, especially with phrases when writing music. Ideas that help shape the track but ultimately hinder it get dumped to a mute channel in case there's interesting things in there that I might want to reincorporate later.
Yep. Various versions too.
I do this all the time!
You’re not alone. From what I read, great writers do this. There’s even an expression for it: “Kill your darlings”.
Always, when I was writing such documents
\begin{comment} I feel this is semantically clearer \end{comment}
Uh, yes, emphatically. How else do people keep track of the stray thoughts that don't quite fit, but are still worthy of consideration, that later grow up to be their own articles?
That's not word at all, that's just good planning
This sounds like a really good idea I should adopt!
I’ve sometimes just kept a full copy with content of a certain color marked for final deletion but only removed for the very final draft.
I call it "ongoing" same concept.
No, i do this as well.we are the smart ines! 😇
Yep. I had my ‘fragments’ doc during my PhD. It was 10,000 words ish long, and I’ve used bits of it since.
Always! I have an “extras” files for everything I write
Have done this for years and advise all my students to do the same. Sometimes these edits even find their way into a different paper, but regardless it makes editing so much easier
I do this too but I keep the dump at the end of the document. More like a dump section!
No, but it's a great idea. I mean it doesn't cost you anything to have it. @paulg
I definitely did that when writing my thesis. I haven't really written anything since but I'd probably still do it
I call it "not using"
I absolutely do this! I’m not wasting time rewriting something I’ve already written. Ultimately I might not need it in this document but it could be relevant elsewhere. So provided there no sensitive info I’ll save it.
Yeah I’ve gotten into the habit of keeping versions. Especially for job applications. Having that version with long examples to dip into has been so useful 👏👏
100% and would never consider not doing it
This is absolutely the right thing to do and not at all weird
Absolutely when studying!
Did it for every chapter of my dissertation. The dump files were all longer than the final chapters. And there were a few times when some material from those dump files migrated back into the chapters.
I do if I'm cutting a lot!
I call it “compost”
All the time. You never know what might come in useful. I find it helps me relax into the writing because I have kept words safe.
I have entire plays like this. I ransack them for gems at a later date. It’s the cottage pie school of playwriting - making good use of left overs.
I just save any version that edits previous work. Bytes are cheap. I can do archaeology if I need something later. So, when working in book021.doc, I may need to find something in book006.doc
This habit actually came in surprisingly useful when I introduced it to my group during a project. I call it the 'Plonking Document'!
Yes... Through my entire masters ❤️ worked for my thinking
Yes! I have a 20 page doc full of bits I like from the drafts of poems I’m writing that they don’t fit anymore and I trawl through the .doc when I need inspiration
I usually put it at the very end of my document starting on a new page and I call it the B-side
Though once I forgot to cut the page before I turned it in!
I would imagine any serious writer does this. You add in and take away as you go along. You'd never want to lose words permanently
definitely. I have a “discards” file for each book chapter, and the word count in there is roughly equal to the chapter itself!
Every story I’ve written has a “Deleted from” document that goes with it. Usually I just keep adding to it through drafts but I’ve pulled from it occasionally.
Always - I use Notes on Mac for this.
Yep 🙋🏼‍♀️
Absolutely. For pretty much everything. Can't think of a reason not to.
I do! Little nuggets that I can’t say goodbye to go on a new doc, sometimes I weave them back in. I think I find it emotionally hard to delete my work 😂
I do the almost the same! Always feel like a reference/sentence will fit somewhere later on. Instead of the dump document I have a "master" document and then a trimmed down one
I don’t but what a brilliant idea! I sometimes have a hard time editing-it’s difficult to let go of something you feel is written rwell but may not be 100% necessary for that particular document. Have this sort of file would make me a better editor I think! #StealingIt
I've never had a name for this but I *always* do it.
I usually put my notes at the bottom of whatever I'm working on...and keep it saved as a draft googledoc...then when final save it as a final doc. That way...draft doc has all notes etc
Oooh, that's good! That keeps the notes sorted! So smart!
I absolutely do this! And very often I end up pulling stuff back out of there!
Yes I do. Sometimes I just liked the way I have written my code (or add to search on the web) & know I will need it someday.
No, but I iterate the versions of my document, so that I can go back and pick things up again.
I always do this.
Yes, I do it frequently.
It’s not weird. It’s smart.
I have one of those. I’ve pulled stuff from it and repurposed it’s. It’s great.
introduces me to “graveyard text” where you put things you have written that we’re good points, but may not help the argument if the current paper you are writing
I definitely do this but will absolutely be adopting the term “graveyard text” going forward 😊 thank you for that!
Spoooooky icons must also be inserted! 👻💀☠️👽🕷🕸🔮⚰️
I call it the idea resource
I call it orphan sentences, and I usually have one per essay, but yeah totally.
That's why I liked working with latex, because you can just toggle * the text you don't need on or off. Back in Word, I have a section after the references that is called 'old' where I dump the texts I might need later.
You mean there s another way ? 😳😀
Not weird at all. Mine is called Scrap and it came in handy so many times!
Not sure if it’s still going but @air_story is perfect for you. I do this too. Nothing more frustrating than not being able to remember ‘the line’ when it becomes relevant again. (Like Paul in Mad Men if you remember that scene!)
🙋🏼‍♀️ each project has its dedicated reject file
I do this all the time. Hate to waste material I've worked hard to write!
Always. ‘Slush’ - hardly ever look at it but makes cutting much less painful.
I call mine “Bits”. Twee, possibly, but there you have it.
I think I must be the only writer on earth who finds cutting all too easy. Every time I read my stuff back there's more I want to get rid of. Have trouble making word counts because of it!!
Mine is called “sludge,” which is a malapropism for slush.
Yay! Another 'slush' writer! I don't recall why I started calling mine that. There are lots of other clever names for it here, too! 🙂
And now that I've realised I am familiar with some of your work (sorry, name recognition is NOT one of my skills), I am always going to think we are the Fellowship of the Slush when I see any again, lol! 😂
The overflow? Use it all the time!
When it comes yo that I just save it as a new version and edit/remove contents. Then if I need the old content I just load the old version. Lost count on how many versions I have 🙃
I do this too. Most recent paper is up to draft20.tex
Absolutely. Graveyard, parking lot, lots of names for it. I also give myself word cut goals—if I add 3k but words to that doc, I’ve achieved it, etc. And often, paragraphs move back into my text later.
All the time. It means you have access to stuff you deleted, and it’s great fodder for future work. That page you delete from article a is the seed of article b.
Yes! It's just common sense. You may change your mind or need to increase your word have always done this. 🤓
I do it all the time. Some of my best papers come from material "dumped' on this manner.
Yep! I have a "fragments" doc for everything I write, even cover letters
Me. Though I can’t recall ever using a dump again...maybe that’s because I never recall where I saved them 😂
Yes. I always do
long live the notes graveyard!
I do this, and I use things from it often enough.
Never heard of an academic who doesn’t have one. If it’s a short bit within a chapter I also paste it to the end of the section so I can slide it back in more easily.
Me too! Served me well several times!
Oh yes! I call it the parking lot.
Yes. Absolutely. Never change.
All the time! My document is called ‘ejecta’. I’m not sure why it’s named after the debris from an impact crater...
Yep. I call it "Scratch Paper" or "Cutting Room Floor," and it is open about 90% of the time in Scrivener.
I'm just reading your bio. I definitely did this when I was writing briefs; I had to reuse things or rescue stuff I'd cut all the time. I only had to recreate something from scratch one time before I started keeping a Scratch Paper document.
It's weird *not* to have one of those files. That was the first piece of writing advice I got when I started my PhD. I still use the same system for ongoing projects.
Yup, i call them outtakes. And frequently use them somewhere else
Always. I keep documents of deleted scenes and old drafts in an “old stuff” folder. It’s not weird, it’s good filing
Yes. I do this because some ideas are important but not ready for prime time. By copying them I’m saving them for when their time is right.
I totally do that and also always have/had cheapo little bound notebooks for scribbling notes on. Think it's a little surprising that nothing app, e-notepad, yada yada across all devices etc has ever been able to replace a little physical notebook for me.
Not weird. Plus my writing process is my writing process. If someone things it’s weird they shouldn’t do it. Embrace your success!
Yes. But I never, ever return to it
Yep. Not weird at all.
Omg, who doesn’t?!?! I had a whole dump folder!
I totally do this!
A dump folder and a dump document, version number all my saves. Just in case. Learnt the hard way when my supervisor corrected his corrections in my thesis and went back to something almost identical to original. It's perfectly normal.
YES it's how I've always written
That's how some novels fall together
Yes! Not because I can't let it go, but some lines/jokes are great, just not great for the current script.
YES! You might decide later that with some tweaks it actually fits so why ditch it?!
Im going to start now....
I do it all the time. There have been many cases where I have decided to put back paragraphs or sentences I have cut. Or, they may be useful for another piece.
Yes, of course. I call it whatever the name of the paper is + scraps.
I’ve been pasting those bits into a specified part of my document
there are writers who DON'T do this??
Not weird at all! I call mine “PROJECT NAME jettisoned text.”
It seems to be weirder not to. What's the cost of keeping all those ideas, even if you never touch them again?
All 👏🏻the 👏🏻time. Thanks for helping me feel less guilty about this. ☺️
I used to that when I was an academic. Eventually I started to wonder if it was better than not cutting til a draft was done just saving all the old versions. Both seem not weird.
Something like that - I move them out of the way to the bottom of the chapter
Writing code I save old, unused or random stuff in a “Scraps” file. Not weird at all.
Not weird at all - just good sense!’
No but I will be doing from now on. What an excellent idea