Thankfully, this habit remained unnecessary for years. My files remained intact and undamaged, and, over time, complacency began to take hold.
You can probably tell where this is going.
Between never needing my backup files, and an over-six-month bout with insomnia that caused my care-o-meter to dip to an unprecedented low, I slipped out of the habit of backing things up.
And then, one day, it happened. My laptop bag unzipped itself and spat out my laptop while the file with Catgirl Roommate was open, causing my laptop to lose power for a split second.
For some reason, OpenOffice took this as its cue to turn the entire file into hashtags. Every. Single. Word.
One moment, I was less than sixty pages away from being done the final round of editing.
The next, I had half of a first draft, a fully edited excerpt consisting of the book's first scene, a bunch of scenes that were outlined but not fully written yet, and six months of work lost.
Note to self: resume backing things up. >_<
Now, I'm working my way through the five stages of file corruption.
"Oh, come on, it can't be THAT easy to lose 6 months of work! Surely there has to be a backup somewhere!"
(And surely Weebly didn't just delete the above sentence simply because I deleted an element lower in the blog post. Wait... it did. *Rewrites*)
Come on, text processors; get your act together!
"Are you serious?! Who the heck designs a laptop bag whose laptop compartment unzips all the way down to the bottom of the case? That's just ASKING for an accident! There's no WAY the benefits of this design outweigh the obvious problems! What were they thinking?!
"And why didn't I check my laptop bag more frequently to make sure this horrible design flaw didn't have its obvious outcome? Why didn't I sew that part of the zipper shut? And why didn't I back up my file for six months? What was I thinking?!"
"There HAS to be a way to fix this. Finding a fix is MUCH better than doing the last six months of work all over again.
"Sure, most of the forums I checked say there is no fix, but three of them mentioned possible solutions... none of which worked... and one of which might have actually caused one of the other fixes not to work...
"...But the people on Facebook say that transplanting my hard drive into another computer might work!
"...I hope my hard drive is compatible with one of my family's other computers.
"This has to work!"
(Note: I haven't tried it yet, but I'm planning to give it a shot tomorrow.)
"I really don't want to do this work all over again. If I have to do that, I'm going to be so sick of Catgirl Roommate by the end of it, my work will probably suck. I might have to take a break from working on it, and do some other projects for a while to get some variety.
"I was so ready to be finished writing this. I looked forward to sharing it with everyone. My family was looking forward to reading it. How could this have happened? I mean, I know how, but HOW?!"
Nope. This one actually hasn't happened yet. I'm still stuck in "bargaining", with brief dips into a state of dismay that, if I'm honest, doesn't really count as depression.
Yes, it's saddening to think of all that work being lost, including scenes I was proud of. And no, I really don't want to re-tread all that ground again.
One first draft and two rounds of editing is enough. TWO first drafts, and FOUR rounds of editing, is enough to pose a real danger of making me totally sick of my own book.
But hopefully that won't happen. And if worst comes to worst, I can take a break, work on other stuff, and then come back to Catgirl Roommate.
OK, I guess there is a LITTLE bit of acceptance, waiting to happen if need be. But hopefully it won't be necessary.
Now, to find out how to transplant that hard drive...