A week in a Writer’s Life

laptopJoe’s Post #16

Dec 27th: Laptop dead. Age 8 months. Brought it in to repair shop. A few hours later, they confirmed the death. No way it should have died that early. Still, everything backed up. Happy to start writing in Jan.

Dec 28th: Fight with laptop company, Samsung, began. They said I broke it, I said, no. Still smug I had everything backed up.

Dec 29th: Wonderful day with family. No need to rush the writing. I can start in Jan.

Dec 30th: Football day. Missed my laptop. Usually, I’d watch football and FB with friends or look up weird facts on the internet or download videos of cute dogs. Monday, dammit, Monday, I’ll begain the massive rewrite.

fetalDec 31st: Great. Just great. The files I’d saved and backed up so carefully, three of them were corrupted. 3 full files of writing. Bad enough the laptop died, but to actually have data corrupted as well? Not a good moment. At first I feared it might be as much as 150 pages lost. Went into fetal position. All of December’s work. Gone. Didn’t much feel like celebrating the New Year.

Jan 1st: Looked up and tried everything to retrieve data. No luck. My only hope was that they can salvage something from the laptop, but if all that’s on there is the same corrupted data, then I’ve really lost the last part of my book, the awesome battle scenes, the epic sacrifice, the kiss that almost was, all gone. Spent a lot of time thinking I was stupid for not checking the files earlier, for not having early versions backed up (which may be on the dead computer, I hope, I pray.)

Jan 2nd: New Day. Like any loss, you eventually get around to acceptance. I’ll bring in the computer tomorrow, but for today, began the task of rewriting the parts of my book I could save, and if the rest can’t be retrieved, I will try my best to write even better awesome scenes of awesomeness. No way I’ll be able to get a completed book done by Feb 5th, but that shouldn’t stop me from getting a bit beyond the first draft. Likely rewriting what I’ve already written will take me a good 10-12 days, and then rewriting what needs to be rewritten, another month or so.

The lesson here, for me, don’t give up. Make mutliple time-line backups and make use of cloud-like technology and hey, print the damn stuff out, paper cannot be corrupted. Foolishly, I trusted that saving then backing up would be enough. The truth is, it should have been, but that loss is worth taking another few steps to make sure I never, ever lose anything this important again.

ab-lesssons-learned1Now, back to writing

3 thoughts on “A week in a Writer’s Life

  1. I envy your Zen-like tranquillity. If I’d lost my pages, I don’t think I could be quite so philosophical, and I only have half the pages you do so far. Hope you recover the files. Let me know when you need some help with that new Mac! (Did I mention that my Mac ‘froze’ 2 years and 10 months into my Apple Care 3 year warranty. At the Apple store in Vancouver they managed to access the hard drive, backed up all the data onto a portable drive, then said they could probably fix it but it would take a week. So they gave me a new one instead and it is still under a second new Apple Care warranty I purchased at the same time). My second Mac is getting close to three years old, I might have to break down and buy a new one sometime……
    Good luck!

  2. Any luck on the lost files? Hope so. This is that Thing that writers hate to think about, but you’re right about backing up, re-backing up, copying to another drive, printing out, whatever it takes to save what you’ve written. Short of tattooing it on your body. Hard to edit that way.

  3. Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I’d still be in fetal position. Hope things work out – but I do find that rewriting lost or otherwise inaccessible work usually is better the second time round. Good luck!

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