I Should Be Folding Laundry or Woe is Me

I have been writing, just not here. I have been putting my busy little fingers to the keyboard and punching out my would be book about life as a brazilian waxer . All of my favorite stories that I've held back because they were good enough, funny enough to maybe be published. It was so smooth, it was coming out so easy. I put together my chapters with titles in an hour of deep thought in the passenger seat of my minivan driving with the husband to drop the kids off at Grandma's. I roughed out five chapters in the following five days. I had the rest outlined in another two days. All of a sudden, I had three chapters at what I would call ready. It was coming out so easy that it felt serendipitous, like this was when it was supposed to happen.

Then my computer lost power in the middle of working on it two weeks ago. I had continually saved so I didn't worry if I lost the last edit I did. Except when I went to open my document the next morning, the file was 9 pages of number signs instead of 50 pages of words. I called my software engineer husband, hoping there was an easy fix. He turned around on his way to work after dropping off our daughter to come rescue me. No such luck. Somehow, the file was hopelessly corrupted. There were no recent temporary versions, he could not repair the original file and a three day search of the hard drive offered nothing. And of course, although my fingers clicked control-S about every two minutes without thinking, I had not saved another copy somewhere else in days. I had been too productive to think to back up my work somewhere else.

I had one copy that held my first 20 pages, all of my outlines but more than half of my work was gone. There were a lot of tears, too many what ifs and profound disappointment when my husband could not undo my mistake.

So here I am, two weeks later. I'm done crying about it. The good thing is although I lost a lot of work, these are stories I know, I can do the work again. My problem is, this thing that was pouring out of me so beautifully, now feels like work. It is tinged by disappointment, the stress around it has made it unfun. I keep opening it, hoping it will comeback, that feeling I had before it exploded. How do you get that back?

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Laura said... April 5, 2010 at 9:56 PM  

That's harsh, really really harsh. When you're feeling it, you go. Trying to replicate what you wrote when you had the mojo can't be fun. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Rassles said... April 6, 2010 at 9:16 AM  

I wish I could offer substantial consolation other than, "Well, they say you should rewrite like five times anyway."

Shelley Jaffe said... April 6, 2010 at 9:26 AM  

Having had similar computer issues happen to mean, I completely understand the buzz kill of having to start all over again.

What I might suggest is that you wait, patiently, and the urge, the itch, the compulsion to get it down again will re-surface. Let go of all that was; what comes next is coming from the same source. Somewhere inside of you are those clear synapses that spark between thought and fingertip.

If it was so serendipitously flowing through you, the stream is definitely not dry. It's there; it just needs a little time for the water level to rise again.

My two cents (almost at par)

Shelley Jaffe said... April 6, 2010 at 9:27 AM  

Sweet Lord above. "Happen to ME", not 'happen to mean'.

My synapses need some more coffee.

wv: pronag. As is, my sons call me a pronag. ;)

Leanna said... April 6, 2010 at 12:53 PM  

I am so sorry to hear that. I hope that you get your mojo back because we would all love to read it.

A Free Man said... April 6, 2010 at 9:55 PM  

While typing this comment I'm currently backing up my hard drive.

That does suck like a Hoover.

Cat said... April 7, 2010 at 5:54 PM  

Maybe if you pretend it's not gone, and continue on with the book, and then come back to that part?

knitinsage said... April 12, 2010 at 10:20 AM  


Gwen said... April 22, 2010 at 9:39 PM  

Yikes. Seriously. I would be heartsick.

I'm so happy you're writing a book though. Could I have an autographed copy when it's all done and published and on the best seller list?

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