#152: Back Up Your Work, Folks
A couple of weeks ago, I had a major crisis. I deleted my entire book manuscript, by accident, when updating my laptop.
It was devastating. It was all I could do to keep from throwing up on the laptop I'd just updated, and I couldn't keep myself from crying. I had worked countless hours on that manuscript, and had nearly 35,000 words written - words that I was pretty sure I couldn't get back.
Thankfully, after some serious nausea, a lot of tears, even more swearing, Brian remembered that I'd sent a copy of my manuscript, as a word document, to my publisher back in December. Sure, it was missing about 5,000 words of work I'd done since then, but at least it was something.
I recovered it, but as I was putting it back into the software I use to write and re-organizing it, I realized something—I didn't have one book. I had two. I was trying to cram so much information into one book that it was jumbled, long-winded, and not at all what I had in mind for my first book. However, if I stripped out nearly half of it and set it aside, suddenly, I had the bones for a REALLY good first book, and a solid start on a second one.
All of a sudden, my dark mood lifted. Sure, I'd lost some work, and I'm not sure my heart will ever recover from the shock of realizing I'd screwed up so completely, but now I had a clearer path forward, AND two good books to work on. I'd call that a win, at the end of the day.
(The other revelation I had was that I needed to back my work up better. Somewhat less sexy, but infinitely useful.)