Tuesday, 15 March 2016

In the middle of a crisis

I'm currently right in the middle of a crisis. I worked hard last night, and made some revisions to my current WIP that flowed so well. And then...

IT DIDN'T SAVE!

I didn't notice until this afternoon, because this morning I went back over a different part of the WIP and didn't think to check the end - why would I?

I actually felt sick when I realised. And then I sobbed - proper they-cancelled-Firefly sobbing. I shared my anguish on Facebook, because I needed immediate sympathy, and the dog just looked confused by the noise. Isn't Facebook fantastic for that kind of thing? My dear friends said just the right things.

I've been struggling with this novella for quite a while, and yesterday just seemed to work. I'd written the scenes out longhand, but then changed them as I went along, moving sections around so the story made more sense. And now, I can't remember a single thing.

I'm writing this post because every time I look at the WIP I want to cry all over again. This chapter is now going to be very different to how it was yesterday, which will have a knock-on effect on the ending. All the problems I'd figured out yesterday are now right back where they always were, and I have no idea how I solved them. I wish I had a photographic memory - it would be so useful right now.

Sometimes, writing isn't fun...



35 comments:

  1. That's an awful experience. I'm sorry to hear it. Your sobbing is understandable. I'd cry too.

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  2. I'm sorry!! Have a good cry and then try to write it again. Maybe it will be even better.

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    1. Unfortunately, it's no where near as good at the moment - it's clunky and awkward compared to the prose I had on Monday evening... I foresee some further drafting :-(

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  3. I'm so sorry that happened! I would have cried, too. :(

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    1. Thanks Sarah. Crying can be very cathartic and cleansing. It definitely helped me to move on, even though I'm still a bit gloomy about it all.

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  4. I well know that sick feeling in the stomach when you realise your hours of work will never be the same. Happened to me earlier this week. Word always auto recovers and offers you the files but for some dastardly reason, this time did not. Ugh! I couldn't look at my story for a day, then rewrote, but keep feeling it's not as good. :-(

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    1. I'm sorry to hear this happened to you too. Yes, I have that not-as-good feeling too. Hopefully we'll both find that magic again!

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  5. But chin up. Hemingway's wife once lost a whole finished manuscript of his. After his initial shock he shrugged and got to work rewriting it. Hats off to Hem! But he would have had a similar gut feel and sob initially I'm sure.

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    1. No! Um, I'm not sure I'd be able to do that. I think his gut would have been in a lot more turmoil than ours!

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  6. Ugh ugh ugh! Maybe after you get a little distance you'll remember some of what you wrote and moved about by looking at your longhand notes? Hang in there!

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    1. Thanks Madeline. My notes barely made sense before, which is why I veered so dramatically away from them. I knew what I meant when I wrote them and annotated my print version with arrows... so many arrows!

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  7. It happens to us all at some point Annalisa. I remember writing my dissertation - back in the day when computers were big, bulky and noisy and low and behold the computer broke down and all my work lost. I feel the agony and I remember the tears. But I did it again and it was better than the original. After the initial shock and irritation, I'm sure you'll get there and probably quicker than yesterday. Wishing you luck and do let us know how it goes.

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    1. That must have been tough, to lose everything. Well done for writing it better. I'm sure I've lost some brilliant ideas, especially those throw-away lines linking scenes etc.

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  8. Hi Annalisa - how very difficult and such a pain - I feel for you.

    You may well find Nicola's wise words come true .. good luck though .. cheers Hilary

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  9. I have faith in you. It's a suckerpunch to the gut and not fair. But for some weird reason, it will work out and it will be different and that's okay. You shall surprise yourself. Wine, chocolate, a walk and then keep writing.

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    1. Thanks Joanne. Yes, it is different, but it's all I've got, so it has to be better than a blank page!

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  10. OMG, Annalisa, every author's nightmare.
    Huge hug.
    I bet though once you get your mind wrapped around it you find those missing pieces.
    Another hug

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    1. Thanks Sandra, hugs gratefully received :-)

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  11. You poor woman. That's happened to me a few times, and you never get used to it.

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    1. I really hope it never happens again - I've stepped up my backing up process, and I also don't close down the document until I've opened the new-saved doc to make sure it saved everything.

      Unfortunately, I'll probably get bored of being so vigilant at some point :-(

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  12. Oh no, so sorry to hear that. I can imagine that gut wrenching feeling. I hope that you can recapture the essence once again. *hugs*

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    1. It felt like someone had punched me. I'm not sure I've recaptured everything though.

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  13. Oh no! So sorry. That happened to me too (a few times). Take a small break, go back and just take it one word at a time. You can do this. Sending you plenty of hugs.

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    1. Thanks Murees. It's something I've always sympathised with when it's happened to other people, but had no idea how devastating it can actually be!

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  14. I'm so sorry! I hope that you're able to remember what you wrote eventually, but if not, maybe the new stuff that you wrote will also work out (I have faith in you!). Computers can be frustrating, though. I used to have one of those external hard drives; I didn't realize that those break down eventually, and mine had tons of work on it that I didn't back up.

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    1. Yes, those external hard drives give you a sense of invincibility, but I don't think anything is 100% ideal. Having several different ways to back up seems to be the best thing.

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  15. Oh no!

    Something similar has happened to me once with a rewrite, and it's really a lot like having one's heart ripped out.

    The best thing is to take a few days to mourn before trying again.

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    1. Yes, that's exactly how I felt. I didn't take a break though, because I was afraid I'd forget what I wanted to say. I forced myself to write straight away... through tears at points, admittedly.

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  16. I know exactly how you feel. I've written what I thought was some really good stuff, and then discovered it missing the next day because something--probably due to me--had gone wrong in the saving process. So sorry. But I know you'll recapture much of what you had. And this version may be the absolute best in the end.

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    1. It doesn't seem to be the rubbish, half-hearted stuff that doesn't get saved, does it?

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  17. Oh no! My sympathies. I know what that's like. Technology isn't always our friend. Hope you have a much better weekend. :)

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    1. Thanks Christine. No, I'm not keen on technology at the moment, but don't tell my laptop!

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  18. I'm so sorry this happened Annalisa. There's no gut wrenching feeling like it for a writer. I hope you've been able to recover from your memory, what you originally wrote. Hugs x

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