So here we are, just past the midway point to November 30. I’ve been diligently working on my Young Adult novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo in case you’ve missed it elsewhere) and so far I have about 23,400 words. Not quite halfway to the 50,000 word goal, but not too far off either.
I’ve been adding to my novel each day, and I’ve watched my word count steadily rise. I have been religious about backing up my work, and I’ve created a PDF or two, just in case. Everything has gone just fine. Until tonight.
Picture this, my fiance has run out to the grocery store, so I decide to add one more scene before he returns. On his way out the door he reminded me to back up onto the snazzy Peter Griffin flash drive he bought for me for just this purpose. No problem. I backed up and was ready to go. Except for one thing. I couldn’t open my document. What? Wait, I just had it. I just backed it up. Except that what I’m now looking at is about 6,000 words shy of what I had just produced.
I was stunned. I was panicked. There were tears. I told myself to calm down. I reminded myself that there were no fatalities involved. I clung to the notion that I had a PDF that was only about 2,000 words short of the version staring back at me from the screen (better than 6,000 lost, right?). Then I put on my logical reasoning cap. I was able to unearth the most recent version of the book in a relatively short time.
Just then my sweetheart walked in the door. I told him of the narrowly averted disaster, and he was properly concerned. He also admonished me to keep backing up. Grr, backing up started this whole issue. I understand its importance, and I believe in it, but I had clearly done something wrong. Later in the evening I tried again to work on that scene. My computer met me with a snide little message saying that there was no such document, and would I like a blank one instead? NO, I would NOT like a blank one. I want the one with 23,400 words in it, thank you very much.
After a second freak out session (no tears this time) and a second round of calming down, the document was found in the same place it was found before (go figure). My sweetheart spent a few minutes backing up all the relevant bits and pieces (this is way more complicated than just a plain old word document, in case you’re wondering why I’m such a dummy about this), then he showed me the correct way to get my work stored on Peter Griffin. Aha! Now that I know the correct procedure I think I’ll have a lot more success. Hopefully no more freak outs are in the near future. I don’t have time for them. I have a deadline.
November 17, 2013 at 4:25 am
Backing up… I always forget that! I’ll do it now…! 🙂 Glad you found all your document – I recently couldn’t find a story so went to my flash drive, but it wasn’t working. Completely dead! All I have is the printed version so I have got to type it up. I keep thinking I ought to print out all my stories – just in case…
November 17, 2013 at 8:24 pm
What an awful situation. Darn technology! I like having a printed version too, just in case.
November 17, 2013 at 5:55 am
How scary! I would’ve cried too. Glad you found it though and hopefully that won’t happen again!
November 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm
Yes, I’m pretty sure I have it under control now.
November 17, 2013 at 6:00 am
Oh, good Heavens! Have you thought about using Google drive, or DropBox, so you are constantly backed up to the Web?
November 17, 2013 at 8:14 am
I haven’t. I’ll ask Mr. Wonderful about that. Thanks for suggesting it.
November 17, 2013 at 7:29 am
Been there, done that: University assignment. 5000 words. I found 2000 of those words, but I don’t know what happened to the other 3000. I spent all night re-writing it. I got 85% – I realised working under pressure clearly worked for me. Now I have 10 copies of everything 😉
November 17, 2013 at 8:16 am
Ugh, how awful. When I was in college and graduate school everything I wrote was on a typewriter. You really had to try to lose those words!
November 17, 2013 at 9:21 am
I loved using mum’s typewriter when I was a kid – although at that time I randomly hit letters pretending to type – good times! 🙂
November 17, 2013 at 7:47 am
Have you heard of Scriviner? It won’t help you with backing up but it is a software for writers that let’s you organize scenes and move them around. You can have a split screen open so you can write from a picture that inspires you and much easier to find your place than Word. It cost me about $40 if I remember correctly . Good writing tool. Another is Evernote. Syncs with your computer from your phone so you can jot down ideas while you are out. Just thought I’d mention!
November 17, 2013 at 8:19 am
Those both sound great. I’ve been using WriteItNow and it has a lot of the features of Scrivener and I like it just fine. It’s figuring out all those paths when it saves that caused me some trouble. Mr. Wonderful set me straight, though, so crossing fingers it won’t happen again. 🙂
November 17, 2013 at 9:12 am
Lol, Ok! I thought you were using word for that long document. You’ve reinforced “backing up” for me!
November 17, 2013 at 9:13 am
I love that your sweetheart is so supportive of you
November 17, 2013 at 9:17 am
He’s the best! It took us a while to find one another, though, almost fifty years. 🙂
November 17, 2013 at 9:23 am
As long as you found one another – that is what is important.
November 17, 2013 at 10:10 am
What a horrible, sinking feeling! I’m so glad it had a happy ending!
November 17, 2013 at 10:12 am
Yes, I literally felt nauseous. Thanks for the comment.
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