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.