Greetings and Salutations, Blog Readers!
As you can tell from the title of today’s blog, we have a fun lesson in auto-saving and backing up your work, but also an unexpected lesson in rewriting your work anyways.
So, as you may or may not know, I have a long history with losing my writing projects, losing entire books and series, because I foolishly didn’t back up my work. I have tried, throughout the years, to learn from mistakes and protect myself from my worst enemy…myself.
To that aim, I have taken to saving my work on USBs, on external harddrives, and, thanks to Travis, a shared server that I can work off of. In the case of my current writing project, which I shorthand call Zoli, I did not have it on the backup drives, or the server, since I was working on it while traveling, and then when I got home, so the most recent version, thanks to my own shortcomings and failures as a person, had not backed it up.
Again, most of my efforts are protecting myself from myself.
Back to Zoli. I opened my computer yesterday, after foolishly leaving my computer on, to find my entire desktop wrecked. I mean, my screen settings messed up, files opened…
My cat, Schrodinger, decided to climb on my laptop, which is on a tilted laptop stand, after puking all over my expensive mechanical keyboard, and mess up everything on my computer. Including deleting about 5k words on Zoli.
Words that had not been hard to write.
I was livid. I was mad at my cat, mad at myself, how could I once again fail myself?
So, I stewed for a minute, and then thought about the writing. I hadn’t loved how I had played some of it out. I had loved some conversations, but I hadn’t loved others. I needed to rework the passage I had lost anyways.
Maybe it isn’t a bad thing, maybe I did myself a favor, maybe by deleting it, by losing it, I was forcing myself to rewrite that which wasn’t good, and something better could grow from it.
It wasn’t a total loss. I was bummed, because as I mentioned, I liked some of those passages, I, like most writers, hate writing dialogue, so I was bummed to have to rewrite the parts I had done, parts I was happy with, and, to add insult to injury, it was dialogue.
But, a lesson, I suppose, I told myself, I need to back stuff up more. Why hadn’t I loaded the file to the shared server, why I hadn’t saved to any of the external storage…
So today I fired up ole Microsoft to get some writing done, to get started on the rewriting, fix what was poorly done, and redo and try to capture the good stuff.
And there it was.
I open it, not breathing, not daring to hope.
There it was. The missing 5k words.
The bad parts I need to rewrite. The good parts I missed.
I remembered back to the last time I had lost files.
I had set up Microsoft to automatically save my work, including recovered files.
I protected myself against myself.
I was elated, and immediately, the question of what to make the blog I will write today, became crystal clear.
Sometimes, losing your data is okay, but sometimes, you learn from mistakes and protect yourself from yourself. Now, I can take the parts I like, rewrite the bad parts, and move forward.
Always back up your data, protect yourself from yourself, and if you lose your words, think about the upside, rewriting that which you knew had to be rewritten.
Thanks for reading,