Warning — Deleting Old Files

 Literature Blogs

Talk about heart-sink. Warning to other pre-published writers — never, ever, ever delete an entire manuscript from your files early in the morning when you aren’t quite awake. I THOUGHT I was being so clever to consolidate my files, and deleting old mss, leaving room on the jump drive for the most current versions. Funny what one little push of a keyboard key can do to your heart. After about 7 revisions, I’d wiped clean a 55K novel from my jumpdrive, along with several other files relating to it.

Yeah, I know: backups. I do have the old stuff backed up. My intention was to delete the old and keep the new.

Maybe I was just supposed to write it from the beginning, anyway.

One author I heard at a conference several years ago wrote a book from beginning to end. Burned the book. Rewrote the book from beginning to end, without, obviously, looking at the first copy. Burned that second rewrite and wrote the story out a third time. She did this 7-9 times for each story she wrote. She explained that the first time you write out a story, you don’t really know your characters very well. By the fourth rewrite, you know your characters, but then you have to work on story arch.

I think what I have to work on is not making stupid decisions early in the morning. I used to be a morning person. Really I did. I think I’ll crawl back to bed and curl into a fetal position for a while.

4 thoughts on “Warning — Deleting Old Files

  1. It’ll be good practice? I can only imagine how you feel/felt. My heart goes out to you!
    Good thing you have such a great outlook on life.

  2. Wow! 55K – whew girl. As soon as I read 55K, my mind began whirling attempting to figure out how long it takes me to write that many words.

    I understand that feeling however – my computer crashed 1-1/2 years ago and whiped most everything I’d been working on. I get it. It feels like a computer violation…or in your case a sleep deprived violation (smile).

    I settled back and decided the Universe had something else I should be working on. Somehow that made it all right…and I did move on to something else. In fact, a lot of something elses.

    Good luck with the rewrite – or the something else(s).

  3. On the good-news front, I discovered that I’d backed up the file on one of the computers. So… yeah! It’s not lost forever.

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