The last 48 hours have been a bit of a an emotional roller coaster ride for me. If you saw my "NaNoWriMo Meltdown" post yesterday, then you can imagine why. I actually had an entirely different Thursday Thirteen planned for today, but then something incredible happened...I SAVED IT. I saved my novel. I've recovered my work in progress. After all was said and done, I only lost about an hour's worth of work...about 1000 words or so. It cost me a night of sleep, and countless hours trying to recover my lost file, but how sweet it is...they're safe, my characters are safe and tucked away in their beds, waiting for me to wake them up and put them back to work. If you're wondering how I saved them, I did some serious online searching (hours and hours) and finally found a program that was able to recover an earlier version of my file, which I had saved over with the corrupt file. I couldn't afford to buy the software, so using only their free demo version I was able to locate it and so, I still have to retype everything because I didn't buy it, but at least the work is not forever lost, I have access to it.
Anyway, all this leads me to this week's TT topic. I've learned a few things in the last 48 hours, here are 13 of them:
1. I learned - NEVER, EVER to save your blood, sweat and tears on a removable USB drive alone. Have a backup...in fact, have two or three or four. ALWAYS.
2. I learned - When you suffer a document crash of momentous porportions, it is imperative that you try all avenues before you quit trying to recover it, because, hey, something might just work.
3. I learned - However, that it is also important to be able to keep a perspective on it, and to step away from it, so you don't drive yourself insane. On this note, I must tell you, I managed to make it through the day without having a complete meltdown, and in fact, was even able to laugh about it...sort of. In that, laugh so you don't cry sort of way.
4. I learned - that you really can find EVERYTHING on the internet. Seriously, there is information on just about anything you could possibly need. It took some digging, but I was able to find the information I needed to recover my document. I also found a great crock-pot rib recipe which I'm planning on making this week. I'm just saying, you can find anything.
5. I learned - that my fellow SheWhoBloggers are fast becoming incredible friends that I can count on in my moments of panic. As it was quite late when the 'crash' happened last night, I sent a quick "I'm freaking out" post to our yahoo group, knowing some of them are also doing NaNoWriMo and would therefore sympathize, and went to bed (not to sleep, however, but instead to toss and turn all night long trying to figure out a solution). Throughout the day, I received all sorts of support from them. Thank you ladies, specifically, but not exclusively, thanks to: Frances, Sognatrice, Joy T and Qualcosa Di Bello. I knew as I was writing that post to the group last night that I was just looking for encouragement and support from fellow writers. Your words were just what I needed.
6. I learned - that bloggers are some of the most generous and amazing and encouraging people in the world. The comments I received to my post about the "crisis" were equally amazing and encouraging and mind blowing. I have no words to express the gratitude I feel for each of you who offered either advice, words of encouragement, or both. So, to Beckie, Lissa, Frigga, Julia, Lil Mouse(Jill) and Robin, THANK YOU. Really, thank you. If you have a moment, please check out the comments to this post so you can see just how amazing these bloggers are.
7. I learned - that the generosity, goodness, and overall awesomness of bloggers does not stop at the bloggers alone, but extends to their families as well. I will admit that I actually got a bit misty eyed when I read Lil Mouse(Jill)'s comment. Her husband Matthew offered to try and fix my problem for me. A complete stranger, who doesn't know me from adam, offered to spend his time to try and fix my problem. Seriously, how amazing is that? Jill, please tell your husband I said THANK YOU so very much. I really do appreciate his offer, and would probably have taken him up on it if I hadn't been able to fix it.
8. I learned - that my mother takes my writing quite seriously. I've always known that she thinks I'm a great writer, and supports my love of words, but when I told her of my loss, she was genuinely upset for me in a way that only somebody who supports my dream could be. That feels really great.
9. I learned - that when I tell people I'm working on a novel, they believe me and don't question it. It's made me realize that this isn't just a pipe dream, but something that I really should dedicate my time to, because others seem to think it's pretty great that I'm doing it, so I should be proud that I am and stop treating it as a "hobby". It is a passion, and one that could eventually even become a profession, and it is okay for me to believe that.
10. I learned - that not even a complete loss would have kept me from finishing the NaNoWriMo challenge. I'm commited to it, and I will work night and day to complete the challenge. Before I knew whether or not I'd be able to recover the novel, I had already decided I was going to start at square one, and just keep plugging away.
11. I learned - that I am absolutely and completely commited to my characters in this novel. They have haunted me for over a decade, since I first created and then abandoned them, and now that I have reawakened them, they live larger than life. I wake up thinking of them, and go to bed thinking of them. And when I thought I lost them yesterday, they wouldn't let me give up on them. I spent the day thinking of where to take them next, and know now that I will not rest until I've given them their voices.
12. I learned - that I am a writer. In recent years I haven't written much, and began to wonder if writing was still as much a part of me as it used to be. With this blog, and NaNoWriMo, I've started to realize that I do still love to write. But it was today, while trying to fix this whole mess that I realized what a huge part of me my writing is. I felt as if I'd lost a piece of me with this work. I was devastated, and heart broken. What a strange thing to feel such loss for mere words.
13. I learned - that I am blessed. Blessed with the ability to write words that mean something to me, and hopefully one day to others. Blessed with enough computer savy to dig around and fix this issue on my own. Blessed with family and friends who will listen to my panic, and offer their support. Blessed with an extended group of friends on the internet who do the same. Blessed with an outlet, on this blog to vent, freak out, and then, celebrate, and give thanks for my blessings. Blessed.
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. Now, let's get back to the writing, shall we?