Monday, February 4, 2013

Picking Myself Back Up

This week hasn't been the best week. I was really sick for most of it, which means my novel, my dedication to my critique partners, and various other life things have suffered. I also had one night where I was filled with existential angst, which made me a pretty annoying person to be around. (One of my critique partners saved the day by sending me a gif of a cat riding a pb&j sammich in space. I don't know how, but it cured the angst.) Then, to top off a week that already wasn't my best, something really sad happened. Really sad.

I accidentally overwrote my idea folder in OneNote. (I wrote about idea folders HERE.)

When I realized what I'd done, I literally sobbed for hours. In between the sobbing, I tried everything I could think of to undo what I'd done, but it was too late.

One of my Christmas gifts was a new laptop, so the idea folder in question was only a month or so old. There were still a lot of ideas lost from that month. Conversations, random moments of inspiration...I stick eeeeverything in my idea folder. I access the thing constantly, because otherwise I WILL forget. So a month's worth of ideas, a month's worth of tweaking stories in the works, the planning for two entire novels...gone.

It's my own fault. I decided to be organized and compile all the OneNote folders from the two other computers so I wasn't hopping between three computers to find what I needed. I'm a big dummy and named my idea folder the same exact thing for each computer. For some reason, when I dropped one of these older idea folders into the OneNote documents folder, it overwrote the existing one without warning. So I have all my old, established ideas...but all the new ones and all the work I've done on old ones is gone.

I'm heartbroken, but I will move on. It only took me about five hours to come to terms with it. Listening to lots of Queen definitely helped.

Do I wish it hadn't happened? Hell yeah. The hardest part is not knowing exactly what's lost because I just don't remember every thought I have. I just have to let it go and trust that I'll either remember or another equally awesome (or better) idea will take the place of what I've lost. After all, ideas are easy. I have more than I could write in a lifetime. It still feels like I lost a finger, but I have to stop worrying about what was and focus on what is. I have critique partners I need to crit for. I have a book that desperately wants me to finish editing it. I have a stack of books to read for my internship. I have a billion job applications to fill out so I'm not money-less.

I guess the moral is this. (Well, the moral besides don't name things the same expecting your computer to warn you when something is about to be overwritten.) Bad things happen. Small things, big things. In life, there are always going to be things we can't control. There are always going to be challenges that test who we are as artists, as human beings. In the scheme of things, losing a month of ideas isn't the worst thing that could've happened. It's not a calamity. It's not a tragedy. It's just sad. 

So this last week wasn't great. Next week will be better.

Learn from my stupidity. Back your shit up. And if for some reason your week has been shitty, too, then let it go. Big things, bad things, sad the course of the Universe and all human existence, my bad day and yours probably don't even rate. So smile, do a crazy dance, listen to some Queen, and if all else fails, feast your eyes on this:


  1. Aww. You're seriously awesome Q and I feel so happy to realize I was able to do even something a little silly for you that helped improved things after all the help you've given me. It sounds like you had a really crummy week, and honestly losing even a month worth of files really sucks, but I hope that means you're due for a good one coming up. Also we should both pester/encourage each other to finish these damn drafts. That way I'll be ready to read when you need a CP on yours ;)

  2. You're awesome, too! For some reason, that was just what I needed. Nothing like silly cat pictures to put life into perspective. :P

    I will definitely encourage your to finish your draft, but you're steadily working at it. Don't get discouraged if progress is slower than you want. We can do daily check-ins if you want...hold each other accountable. ^_^