A Stumble

I cut in with what I had planned to be posted today with this one. It’s partly an update and partly my own venting, both with myself and with technology.

Anyway, last night as I was switching my writing between Scrivener mobile and its PC counterpart, there was an error. I had a backup, so I wasn’t overly frustrated… at first. It showed that I was down approximately 2000 words. At least that was my back-of-the-napkin calculation last night before I made a closer examination this morning after. The actual count is 1,680 words and I found that a scene in the middle of what currently is Chapter 14 is blank. There’s the loss…

I was a few hundred words into my target of 1000 words when it happened. Each time I go back and forth between mobile and PC, I am patient with how I allow the program to update the online files that they each draw from. When I got home last night and moved back to the PC and opened Scrivener, something went wrong. It was my handling of it that made it worse.

I normally keep 5 backups of the Scrivener projects. Then, in the combination of looking for them and figuring it out, the program backed up one too many times – or rather I was trying to stop them each time so that they didn’t, but I missed a bunch. I lost the backup that I needed. Therefor, I lost the scene in the chapter (again, I didn’t know exactly that until this morning).
In the long and short of it, I lost 2 days worth of writing. Is it frustrating? Yes. Is it the end of the world? Nope.

Now, things like this happen. It’s exactly why there are backups and other methods of keeping and maintaining data. The process is not foolproof and just as last night, things go wrong. Aspects of the process are relatively manageable from my perspective, such as setting how many backups I keep. If I had 10 vs 5, then it would have been no issue. That’s hindsight of course. We can always see clearer events from the past than the now… sometimes.

Frustration and anger took over me last night after this occurred. This is something I am not proud of. I handled that frustration better than I might have in the past; I went to bed. I closed the laptop, ignored my writing goals for the day, and went to bed to clear my head. I journaled for a few minutes before hand to catalog the emotions of how I was feeling and then I went to sleep, determined to figure out where I stood after I awoke. So that’s exactly what I did.

The problem with the frustration was that I found it very hard to let go of in that moment. It’s only words. The whole of the project was largely intact. Given that I am nearing 60,000 words of what will be roughly 80,000 words at the finish of the first draft, losing 1,680 words is small. It’s a scene. A scene can be reconstructed easily from what preceded and what followed it. It helped that I chose to go to bed, but what I should’ve been able to do was to calm down and focus on the problem and then after I found out where I was, move forward.

There is clearly more work to be done, not only on the project I am working on. I need to work more on myself.

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