That archive is already here on this computer. It's on that external hard drive. I may copy the archive over to yonder dusty laptop lurking behind the main computer.
Earlier, smaller, archived years sit safe in a fire-resistant safe.
My published works are all archived on Amazon, where they are for sale.
Yes, the best form of archiving for an author is still PUBLICATION.
Lessons learned in previous years allowed me to archive with ease this year. No mess, very little fuss, and hardly any blood on the carpet.
The only problem is...the next archive. Starting afresh, and dropping all the new folders into another new folder. I prepared for that task long ago...
It's a paste job.
And yet...each year brings change. Old familiar folders for regular contacts just curl up and flake away in the wind when companies go out of business, say.
Contacts ebb and flow. A few folders go up automatically. Those people will get to me sooner or later. Some contacts fall into the sketchier category, though.
May turn up.
No need to create a folder until that happens. Mentally, you replay a scene from Amélie. This is right at the start of the movie...
There, in an apartment on the Avenue Trudaine, we see a sad man erase an address from his book of friends. Death creates gaps, of course. But other events take people out of the archives.
In ancient times, I'd spend the first day of the year archiving.
Then things grew more complicated, and I'd check more thoroughly. Days passed. A week went by. I wondered if I'd have the previous year's archive in a fit state come the end of January.
It isn't about losing data. No. The problem is accidental duplication of data. With slight variation following, to add to the fun. Luckily, I keep that to a minimum now.
As far as I know.
Another year, and another archive put to bed. With large chunks of the archive transferred to the new year's fresh folder, the job is marked off.
Save your files. And try to avoid mismanagement of those saved files. Write stories. Publish them. Data is robust. And data is fragile. Discuss all you like. But save the discussion in several different places.