October 2, 2014

Rookie Mistake

I lost my 33k WIP last night... I literally can see the file, but when I try to open it I get a 'you do not have permission to access this file'. How could this happen? I thought it was safe inside my iPad... I had even emailed myself a backup copy... Then I realized the document had been too slow to open so instead of saving my book to my PC hard drive, I deleted the email.

I've tried every method known to writer-kind... First, denial. I repeatedly tried to open the file. Then I shut down the iPad. I  updated the iOS. I restarted again. I updated the app. Nothing. Okay, I get it now. The file is gone.

Second, I googled for help. There is pretty much nothing on Polaris Office. I'm not blaming the product. I have the free version and just learned tonight that there is a version you can buy and, in that version, you can upload to Dropbox. That would've been nice to know yesterday.

Third, I looked on my PC for the last time I'd saved it. It had been a while... 977 words... Only missing 32k. I'm not crying yet. Then I looked in my deleted email. I even googled how to recover deleted email. Nothing. Nada. Nil. I'm out of options.

Surprisingly I'm not crying yet. I'm still at the 'how could I be so stupid' kicking myself in the butt mode. I mean, I know better. I do. How many times has this happened to someone I know? I feel bad for them, but everyone knows you have to back up.

I'm already stressed to the max from work. My blood pressure is all wacky. I'm eating oxo cubes to keep my pressure up! And now I lose two months of hard work. It's disheartening, it really is. Now, it's setting in and I feel my eyes filling with tears.

Writing is more than a hobby for me. It's my outlet, the way I express myself. I poured everything I had into this story and it's been ripped away from me. My characters were a part of me and I never even had a chance to say goodbye.

I don't know if I can rewrite it. The flow was so good before, so natural. I don't know if I'd be able to recapture it. At the same time, I want to finish what I've started.

So, with trepidation in my heart, I select the file name one more time. The downloading box has come up. Five minutes pass, then ten. Still at 0%. Okay, no problem, it's a big file. Fifteen minutes, then twenty. 0%. I'm afraid to touch it. Should I leave it going all night? Or take a chance, cancel and try again?

I don't dare touch it. If this works, I promise to backup every day. I'll be a better person, give more to charity, help the environment, save the rainforest, donate blood... Anything! Just please... Come on 1%... I need the hope. Small blessings... The downloading box is still up at least.

How long do I wait? How long can I stay up before I need to sleep? Staring at the 0%, hoping for a miracle. Knowing I don't deserve one. It was my own laziness and arrogance that led to this catastrophe.

Everyone makes mistakes. Whether you use an eraser, whiteout or the backspace key, most writing oops' can be corrected. With the exception of a lost - unbacked up - file. This is the last thing I needed to 
happen, but I have learned my lesson.

I share my sad story, not for pity, but as a reminder for all to backup electronic documents. I don't want this to be you next time. Still 0%.

1 comment:

  1. Follow up to last night's post... I found an older version in my sent mail. It is from sept 23 so all is not lost... :)