You say it’s not going to be you. You put your manuscript on a flash drive; you diligently back it up; you take care not to have only one copy. You know there are such things as fires, floods, and crashed computers – you’re smart. You take precautions.
But then … it happens.
Backing up a manuscript is sort of like the good behavior you exhibit after getting a speeding ticket. Right after the ticket, you’re careful. You say you’re never going to do it again, and you drive around with extreme caution – for years and years, even. But then you start going a little faster. And a little faster. And faster still. You forget the danger. You forget the ticket. And then you see the lights flashing in the rear-view mirror again. …
The lights flashed for me again recently. I had spent a whole day making changes to my manuscript: it was one of those thrilling days where I had no obligations, nothing to do but write. In fact, I told my husband I wasn’t getting out of my pajamas unless absolutely necessary. I planned to spend the entire day with the laptop, making changes to my manuscript that were long overdue. I had thought them through during vacation and was eager to get started. It was a sweeping change – involving changing a character and her motivations – and I had numerous notes and several snippets of dialogue written in my head. It was all concentrated into one area – Act III (for me, about ten chapters, all in one file, where all the changes take place for the character’s arcs). It was a glorious day – I worked from morning until late in the afternoon, tweaking and polishing. I wrote for hours, excitedly telling my husband how much better this book was going to be. I went into my seventh hour. I was on fire. Continue reading