Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lost in Smugville

     While breezing along with my WIP on Monday midday, it looked to be a productive week. The characters were behaving badly (as they should), the dialogue rang true, and the transitions were as smooth as butter. Everything I wrote sounded goooood. No editing needed. As a writer, you know this is not the norm. The process usually equals angst-ridden, hand-wringing days, when getting a paragraph down feels like you've had to use a quill pen between your teeth to write it. It's painful. But Monday was different.  My smugness swelled like a balloon.

     And then it popped.

     It popped when I plugged in the flash drive yesterday to continue working. I clicked on the WIP folder.


     click, click

     Still nothing.


     I thought the blank page, the Void of White Nothing, was teasing me for being so smug. I looked everywhere. Then I found that not only was Monday's work missing, but the flash drive seemed to have cannibalized several days of writing. In all, about 6,000 words.

      I've remembered bits and pieces of the good parts since yesterday (and saved them on a new flash drive). It will take me days to rewrite instead of jumping into the groove of three days ago. I'm back to feeling the angst and hand-wringing, to writing with a quill between my teeth.

     Smugness, thy name is not writer.


  1. Oh my god. Hope you can recover the file soon. Visiting her via #writecampaign . Nice to meet you!

  2. Oh Dawn, I'm so sorry. Every writer's nightmare! Hope you're back up to full speed soon.

  3. Oh no!

    May I suggest you use Dropbox? It's a lifesaver; it automatically saves a copy of your work to a cloud drive type thing. REALLY handy. Complete lifesaver.

    Hope you somehow get the work back! :(

  4. Always keep at least two copies. The flash drive is just for storage - not for working on! (Bitter voice of experience here......) :(

  5. Oh god, how terrible! :(

    But I also second the rec for Dropbox.

  6. AHHHH. That's horrible! I hope you can remember all the genius. I save my stuff, email it, and I have an external hard drive because of these stories, but I have also heard that Dropbox is excellent. Best of luck!

  7. Oh, and thank you so much for having me on your Blog Love section! :)

  8. @ Morning AJ: The illuminator on my laptop has been spotty for awhile now. It's 6 years old and I'm expecting it to go at any time. Soooo I've been working directly on the flash drive. Big mistake, I know.

    I'm checking out Dropbox ASAP

  9. Awww! I'm so sorry to hear that - what a nightmare!! I'm glad you were at least able to remember some of the good parts. Also? I appreciate the cautionary tale... I, too, am checking out Dropbox ASAP!

  10. Dawn! That is absolutely horrible. I am so sorry. I can relate as well. I had done a full day of revisions, saved the file to my jump drive, went to send the file back to my editor and when I plugged my jump drive in...nothing. The whole drive was lost. I had to do the revisions all over again. I cried a bucket of tears.

    I feel your pain!!

    I'm a fellow Campaigner and I look forward to getting to know your blog. See you out there....

  11. You have my complete sympathy! How awful!
    I hope you can get back into that same groove again soon!

    Found you via the Campaign. Looking forward to reading more from you.

  12. I'm so sorry, Dawn. I've not used Dropbox yet, but I do subscribe to Mozy. I also email my work to a dedicated yahoo email account. I'm glad you're remembering some of it.

  13. Oh no!!! I've had work disappear into the ethers, and it's not fun. Hopefully your memory will bring everything back. I'm a fellow campaigner and new follower.

  14. @ K.M. Walton - Now I don't feel so bad. Sorry that happened to you. Thanks for the follow!

    Brianna, thank you! I'm on my way; had a productive morning.

    @Marcia - I haven't heard of Mozy. That's also a good idea to send your manuscripts to an e-mail acct.

    @ MG Higgins - Not fun at all, though it's a lesson learned the hard way. Thanks for the follow. Looking forward to campaigning with you.

  15. Oh you poor thing! Computers are a blessing and a curse sometimes!
    I'm a fellow campaigner and picture book writer stopping by to say hello and follow. Nice to meet you! Good luck retrieving your missing work!

  16. Hi Dawn, so sorry to hear this! All best as you continue on with the story.

  17. Oh no, that is terrible! I think every writer who just read this had their heart sink into their stomach. Due to a loss like this years ago, I email my MS to myself at two different emails each day when I wrap up. Yes, I am THAT paranoid. I hope you get it all rewritten and get back into the flow.

  18. So sorry. This has happened to me, but not my flash drive - my hard drive!! I've taken to what Shannon does and email manuscripts or I use a separate flash drive. Good luck recreating! Stopping by from the campaign...

  19. Newest Follower, here, and part of the campaign. Glad to have found you! :)


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