Quite literally actually. This is very difficult for me to come to terms with but…I have misplaced the most up-to-date version of Part 2 in my novel. I have a version saved but I know that I made significant changes in story, tense and dialogue. I’ve looked in all the places I would’ve saved a new document and no luck.
As a result, I’m stuck. I became overwhelmed and despondent upon realizing how much I’d lost. I was proud of what I created and now I’ll have to start again. For weeks I’ve focused on other stories, blog posts and jewelry making; anything except dealing with the truth that I need to buckle down and return to Part 2. Because the longer I delay the further down the road the journey will seem.
Here are some of the lessons learned from this experience. Hopefully, they’ll not only help me in the future but all of my fellow writers out there.
- Backup multiple times in multiple locations – on your computer, on your USB drive, on a disc, email it to yourself, etc. Don’t rely on just ONE folder or hard drive. Your work is important so make sure you have it when needed.
- Keep moving – don’t stop when you hit roadblocks. Maintain momentum when writing a story that way if you do misplace a section you’re more likely to recall what was changed in the version you lost.
- Glass Half Full – I know it’s difficult to think that way; especially if you’ve just lost a lot of great work. But maybe, just maybe, you’ll come up with a result that’s even better than what was lost.
- Don’t take your frustration out on the story – You’ve got a great story there so nurture it. Feed it. Strengthen it. It will go nowhere if you stew in your own misery and frustration. So, get your butt in gear and give the piece the respect it deserves.
- Let it go – in more ways than one. Accept what happened and move forward. What’s done is done. What’s passed is past. As long as you hold tight to what happened while keeping the story stuck in place you are doing a disservice to not only yourself but the readers who will eventually find great fulfillment from your work. No one will read it until you FINISH IT! So let it go. Let it soar.
All the best,