Make copies of your work!

Today, I had that moment every writer dreads. As you know, I’ve been reading through Men of Tokyo: Sudden Heat and I noticed today that an entire scene was missing. I looked through what I’d printed out- no scene. I scrolled through the manuscript on the computer – no scene. OMG! I had accidentally deleted it when cutting and pasting!! :blush:

Needless to say, I freaked out. Had you been in my house, you would have seen me sobbing over my computer, searching the Help function for the way to recover lost text in a document, all to no avail. But then, I remembered that over the last couple of months, I’d sent a copy of the manuscript to my Yahoo address to store it online in case, God forbid, my computer crashed or the document got lost, any kind of bad thing like that. THANKFULLY I found a draft that contained the missing scene and was able to pull it out and insert it into the current draft I’m editing. I was sooooo happy! The missing portion was about ten typed pages. Doesn’t sound like much, but as an author, I know firsthand how much work went into those ten pages.

The lesson in all this? If you’re a writer, make copies and store them in various places at various stages of writing the book. Even if you’re not a writer per se but you’re working on a paper for school or something equally important, it’s a really good idea to do this. That way, if you lose a piece of it or the whole thing, you’ll be able to get it back. I felt much more fortunate than Ernest Hemingway who once lost his complete body of work by leaving his briefcase on a train and never could get the pages back. They were gone. I can’t even imagine how he felt in the first hour of realizing what had happened to him. Suposedly, his loss ended up being positive and giving him an opportunity to write a whole bunch of new stuff in which he really found his voice and became the famous writer he is in literary history. But me? I would hope that I’d benefit from such a loss. However, I really love the scene that had gotten cut and am thrilled it will end up in the story.

Don’t forget: Make extra copies of your work and store it in a bunch of places, including printing out hard copy. I learned my lesson today!! :grin:


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