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Why You Should Always Keep Your 25 Word or Less Answers

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Recently I was doing some housekeeping on my computer. I had been getting that horrible pop up ‘Disk is Full’. Looking at my desktop it was a sea of folder’s. It looks tidy but looks can be deceiving. I have folders for blogging, books I’m writing, graphic design stuff, templates and of course Competitions. I decided to look through the competition folder. I started comping 6 years ago so I thought there’s got to be something I can delete in there? I found my old WOL (Word or Less) files where I kept my little one-liners and poems. As I suspected these files were jam-packed.

There were endless pages of competitions and their corresponding answers I had entered. Also beneath them was where I brainstormed, words and ideas. Now I tend to not keep them unless they are really good and I’ll often think of an answer on the spot. Even brainstorming I’ll hit delete. But reading through my old WOL files suddenly I found myself nostalgic. My comping journey lay bare in front of me. Years of hope when I was in a miserable job and all those prizes won and lost. I remember sneakily comping in my cubicle at work when nobody was looking. I remember sending myself emails from work with ideas. Sitting on the train trying to rhyme my answers.

To my surprise I found the very first 25 word or less answer I came up with. It was at the top of the page of file WOL1. It was silly and stupid but I did really want a new car at the time. It didn’t really answer the question or use the promoter in any way. It was basic to say the least: So all my enemies and friends see me! This is for the Australian dream! Where revenge is here for you and me! And then there was a winning WOL for a Mothers Day Comp: Mum understood our tears…. And calmed all our fears! A reward, for all life has dealt her! All grown up, its time we helped her!

And then there was the book. This was where it all began for me. My creative blockage became unplugged. My creative juices had started to flow with every 25 word or less I wrote. I started to think the unthinkable at the time. I can be creative! The story for a book was emerging and I was on a journey which I’m still on to this day, sitting at my computer writing this blog post for you. I soon realised I couldn’t bare deleting any of these files.

This was part of my own story. This was my history. I’ve kept them and they sit in a folder on my desktop. Reminding me of how far I’ve come. Now I’m adding to the files again. Reworking old answers. Rejigging the rhymes. So I challenge you to keep all your 25 Word or Less answers. They are a window in the past. They will tell a story, your story.

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