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On Writing: Losing Words

Has anyone seen this flash drive? I had it in my pocket on Saturday and, somehow, I lost it in the 105 yards between my day job and my home. It’s nowhere to be found. Flash DriveThat stinks because I lost about 5,000 new words to my latest work in progress and multiple edits…heavy sigh.

I’ve always been diligent about backing up my work. At home, I write on my laptop and I save to it and to the flash drive. I take the flash drive with me when I’m away from home rather than hauling the laptop around. If I have time to get a little writing in, I do it. Lately, because we’ve been so busy with our haunted house, I’ve only been able to work away from home. When I’m at home, it’s do what I need to do time (which usually involves promoting the haunted house and fixing a quick dinner) and then off to work on the haunt or to actually run the haunt. For the last week plus, I’ve done everything on the flash drive without giving any thought to backing up to the laptop. It’s usually the other way around, after all!

It’s my own fault that I lost it – for the second time; we found it fairly quickly once before but I was backed up anyway except for about 750 words that day – and it’s certainly my own fault I wasn’t doing the backup across both devices. In fact, I used to back up to Google Docs too but multiple books into this, that got to be a space issues pain.

The bigger pain here isn’t recreating 5,000 words and then continuing where I left off. I know the story. I can whip that out in a couple of days. The pain is with the edits. As I write, some things that I wrote previously get tweaked and changed in what I wrote before to make the story flow better and to ensure it makes sense. Finding those tweaks and redoing them during the rewrite after basically losing two chapters plus of writing is going to be a nightmare. Where I had hoped to have this book to the editor by now and released just before Halloween, now I don’t know when it will be done and that’s painful.

Writers remember: Always, Always, Always BACK UP YOUR WORK!