Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IWSG: Lost Words


The IWSG is a community where writers can share their fears and insecurities about the writing life. To learn more, check out their website here.

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There's no easy way to ease into this, so I'm just gonna do it real quick, like ripping off a Band-aid: I lost my flash drive that had my WiP on it. 

My story, gone. Somewhere out in the cold world, getting rained on and/or crushed by car tires. Or languishing in a store, kicked under a display of hand sanitizers (or maybe Pepperidge Farm cookies, that makes me feel better).
 
Thankfully, I had backed it up in October, and so in total, I've lost 9K words. Initially I thought I'd lost closer to 20K, so there's a silver lining.
 
But it still stinks and I'm still bummed and so mad at myself. I know how I am when I have to rewrite something from scratch that I'd already written. I try so hard to remember exactly how it was before, thus making my already slow writing process somewhere around the speed of a snail (and not the cute speedy snail from Turbo). 

I know I'll get through it though. I can do this! My plan is to write the final scene (I was so close to finishing before The Case of The Lost Flash Drive...*sob*) and set it aside for a few weeks to write a short story. Then I'm going to go back and piece the story together (I wrote most of it out of order) and get it into better shape with a few rounds of revising. After that, I'm hoping I'll be able to approach rewriting the lost material in a better frame of mind. 

That is my strategy anyway, dear friends.
 
And in other, better, cheerier news, my third short story released yesterday, and I have a release day post that you can find here, complete with a video, cookies, and weird plants that took over my bookcase. =D

Lastly, the question of the month: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

I see myself with an agent and with a traditional publishing deal. It's what I've been working towards for a long time now, and I know if I don't give up and put in the work, that I will get there. To quote Henry David Thoreau-- Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. 

And here's to all of us doing just that!

31 comments:

  1. My hope for you is that the new version of those 9,000 words turns out better than the old version. Rather than just reproducing what was lost, maybe you can improve upon it.

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  2. Oh no! I'm so sorry! I've never lost a flash drive, but I lost two whole books from my computer once, with no backups. I haven't attempted to write them again. During those times when I lose pages while working due to my power flickering, I struggle to remember what I wrote and write it as good. I hate it. I really hope you find your flash drive at home in an unsuspecting location. Safe and sound.

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    1. 'I hate it' describes it perfectly. =) Thank you, but the last I remember having it was in my purse while I was out running some errands. I've called all the places I'd been, and it wasn't turned in. But who knows? It could still turn up!

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  3. So sorry to read about the lost flash drive. That sucks. Maybe you'll find it somewhere...maybe under a cupboard or snuggling behind a cushion...fingers crossed. X
    Congrats on the third short story that you released! Way to go!

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  4. Oh, ouch! Maybe when you've got that agent and an awesome publishing deal, the lost flash drive will be one of those great stories famous authors always tell, like the one where Stephen King's wife pulled the ms of Carrie out of the trash.... :)

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    1. That's one way to look at it, lol! And did she now, that's awesome!

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  5. I'm so sorry you lost your flash drive.😔 It's a terrible feeling of panic and desperation. You have a good attitude, though. Congratulations on your story being sent into the wild!!!!

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  6. I once had a flash drive get corrupted and I lost a book I was 30K into writing. I had to start completely over. It took me months to get up the urge to rewrite it, but I did and that book just came out in October.

    In five years I see myself being completely indie. I'm done with agents and publishers after being burned too many times. I've got my own back now, and I couldn't be happier about it.

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    1. Ouch, 30K is much more painful than 9K. That's great that it still made its way out into the world tho, gives me hope. =)

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  7. Oh nooooooo! 😭😱 I'm so sorry you lost your flash drive. I'd be devastated. I've lost work before (I'd saved it locally to my computer) so I know the feeling. This is why I now back up automatically to Dropbox through Scrivener. I hope the words come to you quickly though and that it doesn't set you back too much!

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    1. I should look into Dropbox, see how that works. I definitely don't want to go through this again!

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  8. So sorry that you lost your flash drive. I would be gutted if I lost my work this way.

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    1. That first day was not fun, I will admit.

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  9. I feel your pain. Ransomware destroyed my writing folder a couple years ago, and it took me months to get back to writing what I'd lost. Now I save everywhere.

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  10. Dude, that sucks about the flash drive. I've been in the same boat where I was so rough on mine that it actually shorted out and my computer could no longer read it. Cloud storage might be a thought if you have that option. I use SpiderOak, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box for all my stuff. But I know not everyone can install cloud synchronization on the computers they use. I hope your new words are even better than your old ones!

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  11. Nuts! You have the right attitude, though. I would be devastated and, well, pissy. Bravo to having another short story published. All power to you. And yes, you will get that agent. I can just see it.
    This is my first time here. I've joined your blog. All the best for a wonderful holiday season. Maybe you'll find the missing flash drive in your stocking. It's always amazing what Santa finds and puts into our stockings.

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  12. The sucks, but I'm glad you said you had a backup, even if it's short 9k words. At least you don't have to start over. Great plan for the next 5-years.

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  13. I'm so sorry about your lost book! That's devastating. I'm glad you "only" lost 9K, but still, 9K is a lot.

    Good luck with your goals! Never give up.

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  14. Oh no!!! That's horrible. I hope your story is somewhere out there, enjoying the company of good cookies (or eggnog!). Hugs. And best of luck with writing those words again.

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  15. This made my stomach hurt a little. Even though it was only 9K, I know as a mom that it is so damned hard to carve out that time to write. I'm so glad you had the rest backed up!

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  16. Eek! I cringed just reading that. Now I want to backup my work about a million times. Good luck with rewriting those words!

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  17. I'm sorry! Ouch. I hope Santa brings you several flash drives and external hard drive for Christmas so you can back your stuff up all over the place. Sucks to rewrite so much, but I bet the new words are even better.

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  18. Ah!! I've always loved that Thoreau quote!

    Sorry to hear about the words you lost :( That happened to me once, and I'm pretty sure I spent the rest of the day sobbing. The good thing is that when I went back to rewrite what I'd lost, I found I liked what I rewrote even better. It was like the Universe was a super aggressive Editor pointing me in the right direction. Hope it goes the same for you!

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  19. Oh no, every writer's nightmare! Sending hugs and cake and loadsa vanilla soda your way. I hope you manage to rewrite those lost words even better than before. And I love your five year plan . . . very similar to mine. Good luck, Leandra.

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  20. OMG, I'm SO sorry! I've completely lost work that way before. And I deleted my entire WIP from my computer yesterday while trying to rename it. I looked EVERYWHERE and it was just completely gone. The dread and sadness and shocked feeling of loss was terrible. I have no idea how I got to the right place, but somehow I was able to reverse the deletion and it popped back onto the screen. I immediately emailed it to myself, but it was a close call.

    I hope the rewrites go well! In terms of the question, in five years, I hope to be writing books that get published and if that's not in the cards, I'd maybe like to explore working with a small press publisher that publishes children's books.

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  21. So sorry to hear about the lost flash drive. I can understand why you are upset- but I think it is great you can find a silver lining. I hope the rewriting goes faster and better than expected. Also- good luck with your five year plan. :)
    ~Jess

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  22. Noooo, a worst nightmare come true! SO sorry, hope it will soon be a distant memory once you complete and sell your manuscript!

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  23. That's terrible! I would be so devastated to lose that many words! I'm reading this post days behind, so I hope that by now you've rewritten some of what you lost.

    I email my WIP to myself every night before I go to bed (assuming I worked on it). That's my method of back-up.

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