Buried Treasure: Five Reasons You Should Read Your Old Writing

J.K. Ullrich

You know the scene in adventure movies where the protagonist, digging feverishly where the “X” on the map has led, hits metal in the mud? That was me last weekend, only I wasn’t excavating earth, just the closet in my home office. And the telltale clunk wasn’t a spade striking a strongbox, but an heavy old briefcase nearly striking my skull as it slid down from an overhead shelf.

It was my laptop from college, a monolithic Dell Inspiron weighing more than my guitar. Had I really schlepped this thing to the university library in a backpack? Incredibly, it still powered on. More incredibly, I still remembered the password. Nerves and nostalgia went into overdrive as I entered the electronic world of J.K. at age 22.

Icons for three different writing programs adorned the desktop (those miserable Dark Ages before Scrivener!), along with a mid-2000s Tomb Raider game. But the…

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