Establishing a writing hub, a space to save your digital writing, has become all the more necessary. There are several reasons why, one of which Guy LeCharles Gonzalez describes below:

Writers who write just to write and share their work still benefit from having a main hub. I lost so much writing over the years to platforms and websites that went under, now only the ephemeral stuff goes without archiving it in some way on my own blog. Post-Twitter, I’m really hoping to see a revival in blogging, and it’s slowly happening in some circles (source).

Photo by Julia Joppien on Unsplash

Don’t want to lose writing on this or that platform, make sure you keep a copy. Even when you have a grasp of the technologies involved, it’s easy to lose track.

Keep an Inventory

One of the things I did for many years, but have since stopped doing, was keeping a list of everything I’d ever written. When I got up past 100 print publications, thousands of blog entries, I realized a list of published writings in my resume and CV was unreasonable. Instead, I made a folder in my Google Drive to archive and save everything for…who knows when? I kept copies of the print magazines.

Then, one day, I woke up and threw all those magazines, except the first one, out. Who was going to want to keep this stuff after I died? I had only kept a few copies to show my family, but once my parents were dead, it wasn’t like my children were going to want it.

Safeguarding My Writing

From that point forward, I resolved to keep copies of the markdown version of the articles. Unfortunately, my employers didn’t care for some of my writing and asked me to take it offline. Often, it highlighted a lack of integrity or transparency in their business dealings with a particular vendor. Other times, they pointed out that if I wrote a blog entry for the organization’s blog, they didn’t want to see it appear elsewhere on the web. I’d written, after all, under work for hire. So, I found a way to keep those examples of my writing in a safe place, readable in my collection only by me. The public version appeared out there.

The problem is one that many writers run into, even when they are allowed to retain the copyright from their employer.

A Mess

Today, what I really have, is a jumbled mess of stored writings in different places online. What really irritates me is the impermanence of publishers who said, “Don’t worry, this will be online forever,” but then failed to maintain the tech undergirding the publications or simply allowed the servers to die when new management came on board. In the end, the only copy of my work is the one I keep. As Guy says, so much can be lost.

I often wonder if, “Did this piece of writing do what it set out to do? If so, then that’s good enough. Who needs my writing for posterity, anyways?”

A Blogging Resurgence?

I’m not so sure there is going to be a blogging resurgence. It costs money to maintain your own writing hub, and even if it gives you a voice, it also gives your enemies and antagonists insight into your thinking. Today’s environment could be turning fascist. That either will spur you to stand up more visibly, or resort to notebooks of the mind, unreadable by anyone except you.