There was a lot going on in my house last week and I was definitely feeling the pressure of looming deadlines and unexpected expenses. It truly seemed that although I knew I was distracted and frazzled, the only logical solution was to work through it. To challenge it and own it. You know, take the bull by the horns and all that.
Decision made, I grabbed my reusable water bottle and settled down to tap away at my favorite writing program. Now, I have to admit, almost nothing gets me as excited as a new program or an update to a program I already have and like. You just know I’m going to be clicking over to that as fast as my TouchPad will let me and today, I saw that little “upgrade available” notice. Did I mention I was using my favorite writing program?
That part of the story is a bit long and boring. We’ll just cut to the chase and say I had to import my files to make them compatible with the new ones.
Allowing myself to get distracted by all the craziness around me, I frustratedly clicked “update file”. I growled at the “are you sure you want to overwrite this file?” question and clicked “yes”. Then I watched as my word count went from almost 14,000 to 0.
My stomach realized what that meant before my brain did because it dropped to my feet before my swirling thoughts grasped the implications of what had just happened.
The message here is three-fold:
- Don’t make important decisions while distracted.
- Taking time to relax and refresh will help you accomplish more in the long run.
- Always back up your files!
The tears and nausea passed as I remembered that I had started the story on pen and paper. That meant I at least had half of my work. Somewhere. Glaring at my reflection in the monitor, I let my eyes drop and noticed a little green padlock in my taskbar. Carbonite! Maybe I hadn’t lost my work after all!
Thankfully, I was able to recover my old files and restore the part of my soul I had given to my novel-in-progress. This time.
Please take my experience to heart. Implement a backup plan as quickly as possible if you don’t already have one. If you already have a system in place, test it periodically.[signoff]