My husband just changed some administrative stuff on our email accounts to make things work more smoothly, and he noticed that I had over 10GB of email saved. He gently suggested that I might want to delete one or two (thousand) things.
I wasn’t surprised. Especially when I considered the fact that I really don’t ever delete anything. I went and checked out my Feed Your Fiction Addiction email, which I assumed—correctly—was one of the main culprits. And here’s what I found:
- Hundreds of giveaway notifications—both from me and to me.
I mean, these are really important to save for years, right? What if I one day I need to know which blog I won that one random book from in 2013? Or what if I want to count the number of times Danielle Hammelef has won a giveaway on my blog? (It’s a lot—she’s an awesome giveaway participator.) What will I do if I don’t have this data at my fingertips?!
—I’ll let you know, because I have now deleted them all—well, I think I kept ones from the last few months, but that’s it.
- Media assets for hundreds and hundreds of blog tours.
This one is probably the worst because there are usually lots of attachments in these emails. But at least I can always have quick access to all those tour banners and author photos. They’re not like in the posts or anything. Or stored in my Media library. Nope, I obviously need to save all those files in my email.
—Deleted them all.
- Every email interaction I’ve ever had with a fellow blogger.
—Okay, so these I mostly kept because … I don’t know, I like you guys. And typically if an interaction was worthy of email (as opposed to comments), it feels at least semi-important. I just couldn’t hit the delete button!
- Review requests that were received from publishers.
So, I’m not so crazy that I’ve saved every review request I’ve ever received, but for some reason if they come directly from a publisher contact, I always save them. Even if I didn’t end up reviewing the book. I’ve always told myself it was because I wanted to keep track of publisher contacts, but if I’m being honest, I think there’s a certain feeling of accomplishment that comes from getting review requests from a publicity person at a publishing house.
—I deleted some of these. Especially older ones or books I didn’t end up accepting for review. I made sure that I held onto at least one request from each publishing contact that I’ve dealt with in the last year or so.
- Interactions with authors from my first blogoversary giveaway.
Back when I celebrated my first blogoversary, I did a HUGE giveaway with over 50 winners. I gave away as many of my favorite books I’d read as I could, and almost all the prizes were books donated by authors. And I kept every email interaction with those authors.
—These were probably the hardest for me to delete, but I did it anyway. I had SO many of them, and most of them were just quick notes to say, “Sure I’ll send a book” and then me telling them who won and them saying they sent it. Still, nostalgia made these hard to delete. These authors supported me in my earliest blogging days!
This is just a small selection of the stuff I’d accumulated in my FYFA mailbox. I’m not usually a pack-rat, but deleting emails can be hard. Hoarding instincts start to kick in, and I second-guess every deletion, even when it’s an email I’ve had for five years and haven’t looked at once in all that time.
Am I alone in this? Do you ever clear out old emails and find that you’ve preserved way too much of your life’s story via an inbox? Can you convince yourself to delete? Should I really have held on to all those old emails? I want to know!