So, if anyone follows me on FB, then you already know that my NaNo was going spectacularly. I was geared up and loving what I was writing. I was on track to finish something like 18 days early. At least, if I was only doing the one piece. Well, I went from weeks ahead of the game to NaNo being over real quickly.
Last Friday, the 9th of November, the flash drive containing both my NaNo projects and all my writing crashed. Or possibly it was just corrupted and it’s easy to recover. I’m not sure. The flashdrive has been giving to a friend who has a friend who does data recovery. I’m still waiting to hear back about how bad the damage is.
The good news? While I had been working from the backup (the flashdrive was my backup) almost exclusively, I had moved my writing onto my computer’s harddrive when I got my new laptop. Meaning that all my writing as of June 2nd was gone. While that sounds terrible, and it pretty much is, it’s much better than having nothing left, which is where I thought I was. So really, this is a win for me.
I’ve since synched my writing folder with OneDrive, since it seems that I have it with my MSWord subscription. I don’t love the idea of everything being online, but it sounds better than having something like this happen again.
But Sam, it was only the 9th, why not just start over? You had plenty of time?
I technically did have plenty of time to restart, or to work on the other project (even though I’m in a worse spot for that piece than I am for my YA romance), but I felt like I would have been doing myself a disservice if I did so. Knowing myself, I would have been writing like crazy, settling on whatever drivel came out to get me back to the word count that I’d lost instead of focusing on trying to write a good story the first time around.
So instead of driving myself literally insane this month, I just sort of cut my lossess and decided I’d be better off not finishing NaNoWriMo this year. I had a streak I wanted to keep up with, but I wasn’t about to go crazy trying to make it happen. The streak would have been nice to maintain, but I’d rather have a draft I don’t need to completely re-write.
I’ve edited a draft of the novella I submitted to TOR.com publishing earlier this year, hoping that maybe, if I get to a spot where I’m much happier with it, I might be able to self-publish it in the next few months.
I have to admit I’ve also bitten the bullet and started re-writing my fallen NaNo piece. The likelihood of it being salvagable from the flash drive is next to nothing, even if it was a simple error that caused it to crash. The story itself was open when it crashed, meaning it may be better to just restart rather than wait on it. So i’ve started it over. I’d previousy sent both my character introductions to a friend of mine, so I had those to work the beginning from at least. That was cool.
Now, I just have to remind myself that I’m telling a story, not re-writing the piece I lost, and it’s okay for it to differ, either a little bit or a lot, from the draft I’d been writing. It’s gone, and it’s likely not coming back. I need to move on and write the story that these characters are demanding I write.
So really, this is a really long warning message of back up your work. Have backups of your backups. Upload to Google Docs every now and then, maybe. Just…just save your work, becuase losing it is one of the most discouraging things that can happen to you.