Checkpoint: Beginning of Week Three

Also known as: How Rion Learned Lessons the Hard Way.

I’ve taken great pride in that I’ve never had a critical meltdown of my computer/hard drive. I’ve never been the one who sat there saying, “I don’t need a backup; my files will be fine.” I’ve never accidentally saved over an assignment. I’ve never had any of that happen.

…That is, until today.

Week Two is hell on Earth, and it was that and more for me. You lose focus, you lose speed, you falter in your noveling. I’m feeling the effects even more, since I’m already jointly past 60k by now. I’m hoping that Week Three will bring me a windfall, but as I look at my novels, I know it’s not going to happen. I’m walking into brand new territory…and that’s the scary part. I don’t know where to go, or what to do next. I don’t like it, and my mind hasn’t actually written something I hadn’t planned a bit in a very long time.

But I’ve taken to writing at the local Barnes and Noble after work most days, and so as I settled down with my grande Earl Grey and opened my laptop to write, I fired up my copy of Scrivener to my project, the one I’m hoping to use as my MFA manuscript…

…and all the words I’d written yesterday were gone.

I was confused. I made sure it was the right version. Closed it and opened it again. Tried looking for a backup.

Nothing. The three thousand or so words I’d written to catch up were gone.

So I tried opening my other novel.

Scrivener told me the project file didn’t exist.

Now sets in the panic. Losing the rewrite of Karantiri would not be devastating. It would be for NaNo, but it wouldn’t be for me as a writer. This isn’t the first time I’ve rewritten the story, and it certainly won’t be the last. But for Revolution… There are over fifty thousand words in that draft, 30k+ of them written during November, that I am using in my grad school assignments. Losing that would be catastrophic. I didn’t know what to do.

So I did what all right-thinking computer techs do. I restarted my computer.

That got me Karantiri back, but the words were still missing on Revolution. I decided not to waste my time at B&N and worked on Karantiri for the remaining hour or so of my time, and then continued on with my day. Once I got home, I would fire up Scrivener and see if I could find my novel there.

I did just that, and then plugged in my external to find the book.

When I opened it, there were no words in the project at all. An entirely blank Scrivener project.

I closed my eyes, Googled “how to find Scrivener backups”, and went on a hunt.

With all luck, I did in fact find a backup of my novel, with all the words I thought I’d lost, in the annals of my computer. My heart started again, and I finally took a breath. But it’s taught me the usefulness of backing things up. I’ll be finding a flash drive to put my novel on, and save it there each night. Both of them. I can’t afford another near panic attack like today. I have enough stress in my life without adding loss of words to it.

So here’s to Week Three. On Friday into Saturday, I have an overnight write-in. On Sunday, I have a coffee get-together with a friend. On Monday I’m going to Rochester to watch the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special. And on Wednesday I leave for Thanksgiving. The end is approaching, and I have words to write – and even now, Week Three is slipping away from me.

So let’s get down to business, shall we?


One thought on “Checkpoint: Beginning of Week Three

  1. Glad you got it all back! This is not the first Scrivener horror story I’ve heard and I think this is what keeps me from using it. I also have Carbonite, which is a backup system for my whole computer and lets me access files remotely. There are a few systems like this out there. Might want to look into one. It backups up automatically in the background, so I don’t even have to remember to do it!

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