Tuesday, January 19, 2016

When Productive Turns to Terror

In my last post I mentioned how writing was going so well. I was thrilled with how the book was progressing, excited to work on each new scene, and even snuck away from work several times to jot down a few sentences here and there as they came to me while I was working my day job.

I'd just finished one such little writing break and was gleefully pondering the next scene while working when I noticed a flash of light on my writing computer. Time to reboot and install windows updates. Yes, I have this scheduled. It's supposed to happen at 3am when I'm not in the middle of anything. But apparently the computer gremlins were having a heyday and demanded to do that right now.

I let it finish and reboot and then sat down to reopen my word document so I could type the next few lines I had in my head. Aaaaand, cue the screaming and gnashing of teeth. Not only had word not auto saved ten minutes before as it is set to do, it had no record of the manual saves I'd made over the past entire freaking week. Nor was the save I'd made to my off site drive two days before in existence. No sir, everything I'd poured out all week, all my sparkly words of awesome, had gone poof. Not cool, windows. Not cool.

In the past I've been able to resurrect missing documents from auto recovery files, but alas, there were none because windows doesn't acknowledge that it's random urge to restart might close files you might want to recover. And the restore files feature had never been turned on with this computer or the off site hourly back up - which would have been really damn handy about then.

Thank goodness I'd done a back up to yet another drive a week before. So yay, all was not lost... only about 6K of new words and several chapters of editing.

Ever notice that when you rewrite something it's never quite the same? Though I've since gone through those last couple chapters again, and rewritten all my missing words, they're not the same. Tones have changed and dialogue went in different directions. I'm pretty sure I'm missing a scene but I can't put my finger on what it was. I put the plot back, but it's not as sparkly as it was the first time around.

On a happy note, I'm back to making progress again. I also have my hourly off hard drive backups set up, been manically manually saving, verified that auto save is again functioning, and have vowed to make more frequent secondary backups when I'm in the midst of productive writing.

And I wrote some very sparkly words over the weekend. Okay, they were only sparkly in the sense that that their (rough draft) awesome and I was excited to write them. In reality, the scene was so graphically traumatic, that I ended up giving myself nightmares. Oops.


  1. Hi Jean - oh machines! Such a pain ... I feel for you ... I try and keep ahead of disasters like that by probably working all the wrong way round and saving things as I go and not relying on something happening - but I guess at least I know it's here. Everyday I have a back-up run ...

    Move on fast past those nightmares ... good luck - cheers Hilary

    1. Oh I definitely save as well. The scary thing was that this time, the saving didn't matter.

      Ah well. All that work was redone and much more and now I'm taking a couple days off writing to read a book an do some promo work for A Broken Race.


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