The written word is all that stands between memory and oblivion. Without books as our anchors, we are cast adrift, neither teaching nor learning. They are windows on the past, mirrors on the present, and prisms reflecting all possible futures. Books are lighthouses erected in the dark sea of time.
Jeffery Robbins in “Gargoyles”
A few years back I created a book for an — at that time — good friend of mine who was pregnant. It was a book where — on a few hundred pages — the key events of the life of the child could be collected. Unfortunately, the friendship ended before the child was born and before I could give her the already finished book. I kept the book for a while, but given that it was specifically for a child with the name she wanted to give the child and the child had the other sex anyway (surprise), I threw it away eventually.
But the files, the information about the contents, the PDF, all that should be archived, I kept.
And a few months ago, a former colleague got pregnant and I thought that she (and her husband and the child) might like such a book.
And this is where a good archive comes into play. With the archive, I could easily locate the files, have a look at them, use it as the basis for a much improved version and create a new book that is specifically adapted to the child. And this time I waited with printing it until the child was born and sex and name was confirmed.
It is hard to have a project that you have to cancel, a work that you have to destroy — and don’t get me started on the pain of seeing a friendship … wither away and … to end it … because you can neither stand nor change it. But at least good ideas that could not be realized can serve as the basis or strong influence for future projects. Just because a current incarnation of an idea dies, does not mean that the whole idea should die.
In short: Keep a good archive. You find more information about it in the book as page on this site or in the book as PDF.