Revisionitis

I’ve been at home tinkering with my work-in-progress this week, and it hasn’t been without incident.

On Wednesday my computer froze. In horror, I realized I had never plugged in my flashdrive to back up my work. I yelled at the computer, which really didn’t help (Roxanne quietly left the room at this point, leaving me to my hysteria). Luckily, I called my dear technologically-adept friends at Simmons, who offered calm and sage advice. In the end I didn’t lose too much, thanks to the autosave feature.

Wednesday was a low point. All books have that moment – usually more than one – where I wonder: Will this book just not work? I like to think that writing is the one way that I can use my tendencies toward obsession for good instead of evil. But if I can’t write another book, then what will I do with myself? I’m sure that other writers out there know what I’m talking about.

Thursday, I sat at my desk hoping to have a fresh perspective on this project. I was scrolling through my draft when – wala – gibberish! And I don’t mean the “holy moses I can’t believe I wrote this” kind of gibberish, but actual gibberish: at least a page of my book had transformed into a series of tiny squares and symbols. I managed to retrieve the text from a previously saved document, thankfully. I immediately resaved it, backed it up, and printed it all out, for fear of losing anything else. I ran out of paper more than halfway through and all I could find was an old ream of oversized legal paper that I cut down to fit into the printer. Luckily I managed to keep my act together: I had used up all my yelling and over-reacting the day before. And – thanks again to my friends at Simmons – I was turned onto this free downloadable program that works a lot like Word: http://www.openoffice.org/. I was able to use this yesterday and (knock on wood) the document was gibberish-free.

I hate to admit it, but writing is not always fun. Sometimes its difficult and challenging and you’ll probably feel like you’re no good. But if it’s something you want to do, something you’re compelled and driven and determined to do, then do it. Work through the fear and the worry. Bulldoze it.

Oh – and back up your stuff regularly. Sage advice from the one-eyed wonder basset.

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Published in: on October 10, 2009 at 4:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

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