Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekend Update and the Moment of HORROR

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

My weekend was productive, although not as productive as I would have liked. I got through 6,136 words, although maybe it's closer to 7,000 because I went back and rewrote a section at the beginning that became irrelevant in Chapters 2 and 3, then deleted it. I just took the final word count. So 2k short, but it's still something though!

On Sunday evening, disaster struck. I was plugging away at the keyboard furiously, the scene practically writing itself, when what should happen?

The power went out. Yes. The power went OUT. I'm not kidding.

Now, I'm currently working on the desktop, so everything literally shut down. I proceeded to bite my nails for the next half an hour while I waited in vain for the darn electricity to come back on (amazing our dependency on technology). I'd been saving the document all along as I went, but for the life of me, I couldn't remember the last time I hit the button before everything went black.

Thankfully, that document recovery function in Word is working, and I didn't lose anything. It did sort of put a damper on the rest of the evening though, and needless to say, I didn't do much else after that. At least I still have it! Can you imagine losing the entire weekend's work (or the entire MS *shudders*)? I haven't made this much progress in a while.

How was your weekend? Did you make a dent in that MS? Have you ever experienced a computer mishap while working on your novel? Please--share your experience!


Piedmont Writer said...

That is the scariest story I've ever heard. I also put some heavy wordage on my doc. this weekend and if the power went out on me, I wouldn't be writing this, I'd be in the hospital with a heart attack.

I'm glad you got it all back.

The English Writer said...

Such a relief it was all saved. This would have been a complete disaster, not to mention days of crying hysterically! I'm obsessed with saving to the point I think I might wear the button out - but glad I do after reading your story! Good luck, and ridding of 2,000 words is actually a positive thing, I call it clearing out the crap, so well done x

Erinn said...

I hate it when that happens. MS Word crashed on me while I was editing and I lost quite a bit. I've 3 hard drive die on my, now I back up all the time.


Suzi McGowen said...

I've had that happen, and it sucks. I became so paranoid after that, I did several things.

1. I use a battery back up for my computer. (I've since switched to a laptop, which has one automatically built in.)

2. I set the auto save feature in Word to something like every 2 minutes. (I eventually relented and set it to every 5.)

3. I use Drop Box (it's free). Every time I save my file it gets automatically sent to them. Even if my computer suffered a catastrophic failure, I would still have my latest copy of my WiP.

Heidi said...

We are dependent on electricity aren't we? It beats the alternative--a MANUAL typewriter or WORSE handwriting! ;-) Keep up with your writing goals! I'm "following" you! ;-)

Aubrie said...

My goodness! That is scary. Good thing for document recovery! Congrats on getting so many words in! I managed a measly 2k.

Sandra Cox said...

Loosing power when you're inspired...that sucks big time.
But nearly 7K, that's wondrous!

KarenG said...

Must say I love your profile words "to go back to my rudimentary beginnings and rediscover a world I thought I had long forgotten"

It's what happens whenever I put everything aside and really write!

Christina Lee said...

Holy Crapola!!! WHEW so glad it was saved!

Mesmerix said...

I've had mishaps long ago when I used to use Windows and MS Office products. I lost a 25 page essay once due to computer failure and had to stay up all night re-doing it so my prof didn't flunk me.

I now proudly use Google Docs, which lacks some of MS Office's bells and whistles, but auto-saves every few minutes. I backup my docs (which are stored online through Google) every month by downloading to my desktop. Then, I copy from my desktop to my external hardrive. It's all automated too, requiring no thought on my part other than a few clicks when the program pops up reminding me.

So, that's 3 copies in total. Totally paranoid, but I'll never lose anything ever again.

Joanne said...

My desktop hard drive crashed a couple of times. Both times my manuscripts had been saved externally, but other info had not been and was lost. I now copy important files routinely to more than one source as a precaution.

Jemi Fraser said...

It's terrifying. One day my laptop refused to turn on (pretty new laptop). When I took it in for repairs they said I might lose it all. I hadn't emailed myself my work in at least a month. I know have Mozy backup and an external hard drive :)

Jaydee Morgan said...

Glad to hear you recovered your work - I can't imagine anything worse than losing all the writing you've done that day.

I'm a fanatic when it comes to hitting the save button and backing up my work for this very reason.

Jaydee Morgan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lua said...

I love how we feel like we can do without our laptops and cell phones and the rest of the technology until- the electricity is gone :) Then suddenly we’re looking around wondering how will we survive the next few hours!
7000 words is very impressive! I revised 10 pages and wrote something close to 5000 words. It was a good weekend!

Anne R. Allen said...

Don't you hate that? It's the classic writers nightmare. I live by the ocean where power goes out a lot because of salt-air corrosion of powerlines, so I'm used to losing that ten minutes or so of writing since the last autosave.

But back in the dark ages when there were dedicated word processors, I lost an entire novel when the thing died and no other machine could read the disks. I tried to re-create it from copytyping old rough draft bits, but I never really got the story back. Probably wasn't publishable anyway, but it was about 2 years work. Now I back up everything to flash drive twice a day. And I'll check out that Drop Box thing. Thanks for the heads-up, Suzi.

Thanks for following my blog!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

That is my nightmare loosing ym work. Glad it worked out okay in the end. Phew. :)
I made a start on the new wip so I'm a happy bunny. :)

The Red Angel said...

Wow, 6k+ for a single weekend is a great turnout! Congrats. :)

Oh my gosh, that power out sounds really awful! D: I would've totally melted down in agony if that'd happened to me.

You are soooo lucky to have saved all your work. I'm so glad you didn't lose any of it!! One time I was writing a book that was 60 pages and my computer deleted the whole thing. :(

The summer isn't yet over, you still have time to finish your goals! :D


Terri Tiffany said...

I save Alot!! LOL In Florida, the power is always going!
I read all weekend--not much writing but did a chapter for a new book today:)

Claudia said...

OMG! Your anecdote reminds me of that episode in Sex and the City when Carrie loses all her files in her laptop and Aidan asked her if she didn't back up. And she said: "What? what's that?" LOL! So based on a character's bad experience I now ask my hubby to back up all my files at least twice a month. I don't know how I'd react if I lost all my stories. Yikes!
Thank goodness that was not your case either.

Kenda said...

Thanks for a most important reminder--I save on the PC regularly but am sometimes lax at backing it up on my external disk. I best be doing that more often after hearing all these stories!

WritingNut said...

Anne - That's great news (not the hospital part, but that you made progress ;))

Karen - I agree - I do tend to overwrite, so cleaning up is always a good thing.

Erinn - Oh my goodness - that's horrible! 3 hard drives???

Suzi - Thanks so much for your tip on Drop Box - that's a great idea! I'm going to check it out.

Heidi - I can actually remember the days of using the typewriter - mostly to write gibberish, but I remember :D

Aubrie - 2k is not measly - I didn't manage to write that much all of last week, so congrats to you too :)

Sandra - Yes, it's the WORst thing - I wasn't very inspired after that though :(

KarenG - Aw, thank you so much!

Christina - I know, me too!

Mesmerix - Ahhh, I know--I lost my essay once too, and since I was procrastinating, it was NOT fun. And it's always good to be overly paranoid rather than not paranoid enough, especially when it comes to saving your work!

Joanne - That's terrible--I once had a virus and thought it had wiped out all of my pictures, but my friend was able to recover them.

Jemi - Those are the scariest words ever - I always hope I never have to hear them.

WritingNut said...

Jaydee - I know, now I'm going to be one as well. I'm looking into other fail proof methods as well.

Lua - It's crazy, isn't it?? Congrats, 5k is amazing! :)

Anne - Oh. My. Goodness. I am SO sorry to hear that - it must have been terrible - that's the worst news a writer can receive :(

Lindsay - Me too. Congrats on starting a new project :)

TRA - Ayee, 60 pages! I'm so sorry - were you able to recover any of it?

Terri - I'm glad you got some good reading in :)

Claudia - Ahh, that used to be me, and apparently I still don't learn ;)

Kenda - I hear you - I'm realizing just how lucky I was!

The Words Crafter said...

My husband is always after me to hit the save button. I only remember to do this after something happens and I'm screeching at the top of my lungs about what I may have lost! Sometimes, I'm a slow learner...the terrible heat here is putting a huge dent in my ability/desire to write...I haven't even been able to read, which is kind of scary. I'm glad you were able to recover what you'd written and Piedmont Writer's comment made me laugh out loud! If I was as far into my MS as you two are, I'd probably come unglued :P

WritingNut said...

WC - Ohh, it's the worst thing! I know how you feel about the heat - as much as I love it, it does make it difficult to get things done. I hope it gets better for you :)

Dawn Simon said...

Over 6,000 words! That's huge!

We lose power here a few times a year, so that's one of my fears. I work on my plugged in laptop, and it saved me (more specifically, my work!) when we briefly lost power last spring. A few months ago, less than a month after I started querying on a book, my server crashed. It was down so long, I lost messages. Permanently. It sucked. BUT it was out of my control, and I had to let it go.

I like your blog. Thanks for following mine. Back at ya! :)

Dawn Simon said...

P.S. - I'm REALLY glad you didn't lose anything. I was worried for you.

Theresa Milstein said...

How scary. I bit my nails reading this. I'm glad you didn't lose anything in the end.

Between yesterday and today, I think I've written about 3k. Yay!

MT said...

What a relief you didn't lose anything!
Even after I hit the save button, I also save it on a thumb drive and email the latest file to myself. Maybe that's overkill, but oh well. ;)

WritingNut said...

Dawn - That is one of the great things about the laptop--when it's plugged in and the power goes out, nothing happens! I'm so sorry to hear that - it's especially difficult when you've done so much work.

Theresa - Excellent progress! I didn't write anything yesterday, but I'm hoping to catch up today.

Michelle - It's always better to be overly cautious!

Lynda Young said...

That's the worst feeling of all. I used to work in an old building that lost power on a regular basis. It taught me to save my work frequently. I have three backups of my writing now as well.

WritingNut said...

Lynda - Yikes! At least you have piece of mind with 3 backups :)