My Month of Writing, Derailed

The month of September has been a big writing month for me. Or at least it was supposed to be. I had the plan to work on a new manuscript a little every day this month. I was making decent progress, too.

But then disaster struck.

One day (the 13th, it so happened), I plugged in my USB drive…and it went dead. No computer I tried would recognize it, let alone read the files on it. None of the tactics in my very limited bag of computer tricks made a difference.

So then I made it a point to take the drive to a computer repair store at the first opportunity. They couldn’t do anything with it, either.

Now, you need to understand what was on this drive. It contained not only the draft on which I’d made some pretty impressive progress, but the draft of the ebook I was set to release in just a few weeks, and all the raw files of all my published books. This was a significant and devastating loss.

Imagine a musician losing all their song recordings, or a painter’s entire collection going up in smoke. This is the absolute worst thing to happen to a creative.

Somewhat strangely, the news of the drive being unrecoverable had the opposite effect that one might expect. Rather than wallowing–which I definitely considered doing–I set to work.

My most immediate concern was to pull everything back together for the ebook, which took a few dedicated, focused hours. Since it’s largely made up of stuff I’ve already written and I do at least have ongoing access to those, I compiled and edited it all back together. There was something that wouldn’t let me stop until this was done, and so my work went into the night until I could finally rest. So yeah, I’m releasing a damn ebook in a few weeks as planned.

A few days later, I had the idea to go back through old emails to find copies of my published book files, so I also now have those back in some form.

But the new manuscript–the one to which I wanted to devote 30 days of writing–has had a reset. There’s no getting around that one.

But I’ve started again because, similar to my reaction to redo the ebook, I don’t like the alternative of giving up.

And from now on, I’ll be keeping backups of everything.

One thought on “My Month of Writing, Derailed

  1. Yes, that’s every creator’s worst nightmare. Everything should be backed up on an additional device, or in the cloud (or better yet, both). My husband lost a lot of photos on a USB drive that went bad. Big price to pay to learn a valuable lesson. Wishing you luck with your writing and your new book!


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