When Lost, Rebuild

A couple days ago, I decided I needed to move my bulk notes from one file onto another, more interactive file. Little was I aware, the amount I copied was not the amount that was pasted. I deleted the original file and lost novel and short story notes I have been accumulating since I bought this phone a year and a half ago. This has also been the most productive year for my novel thus far.

Naturally, I am devastated.

I’ve lost material before. I think we all have. It never, EVER, gets easier. It’s like losing a part of myself. Words I’ll never have again. But! I will rebuild. I will start over, and try to remember what I have lost. It will take a long time, and some of my work will never be the same, but what choice is there really? We must always move forward!

As NaNoWriMo rolls along, I think the idea of backing up our work becomes ever more essential. Even the most cautious of us can make a mistake. Some of us are downright prone to them. What matters is how we choose to cope with our little tragedies, and especially our monumental ones.

In all your years as a writer, how many times (if ever) have you lost your work due to destroyed papers or deleted files? Do you bounce back fairly well, or do you take a true grieving period in which to recover?

Keep going, NaNoWriMo participants! Today’s word count should be 26,672!

The reading list for Departures is available here. Take some time to support your fellow writers before putting your noses back to that cruel novel writing grindstone!

About RicoChey

I'm just an unmarried, childless, thirty-something high school dropout with big ideas and a small attention span. Weave drunkenly behind me as I meander through my own life: a winding path of musings on life, relationships, food, the few politics I can stomach discussing, and probably really dumb stuff like the ratio of Sex and the City episodes wherein Carrie does and does not appear to be wearing extensions.
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One Response to When Lost, Rebuild

  1. Oh my God! I’m so sorry to hear this 😦 You were on a serious run, too. 😦

    One of my dearest professors required us to make four backups for our research papers. The first two assignments for her class she wanted to see proof that we had a paper copy of the final draft, a copy on hard drive, flash drive, and emailed it to ourselves. Her discussions about losing half her dissertation back in the 80s (and other horror stories) inspired me to spend an entire day making lists of what I already had on the hard drive, saving each to a flash drive, and emailing them all to myself (because paper copies of each would’ve had been insane at the time, I skipped that). After three moves in one year — no surprise — I lost the flash drive. Then my computer died. So … I still have everything. I did the same for about 3/4 of my photograph collection.

    Prior to making this a habit who knows how much I lost. I lost enough to know that I suck trying to rebuild from memory alone.

    Without those email copies, I would have never been able to restart my book project in February and complete it. And I wouldn’t be revisiting an old, old story and deciding to rewrite the entire thing. Because the original was a big old mess. And after a particularly devastating loss of all my framed photographs during one of the moves in 2013, I wouldn’t be able to reprint and frame them to decorate my new apartment. (Yes, I’m moving again.)

    So, in future, email.

    Good luck with the rebuilding. I’ll be cheering you on.


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