Saturday, September 4
The Dog Ate It and other s*** happens
After much agony, I spent two and a half hours of blood, sweat and tears to pump out 2500 words. I saved it after each paragraph because I’m anal about preserving my work. I was about to upload it to my Dropbox and hit Ctrl+S one more time and my document crashed. Yep, crashed. Irretrievable. My heart deflated in my chest and I felt like crying and throwing up all at the same time.
Why couldn’t it have crashed the other document I had open, my entire manuscript? At least that was on Dropbox, all safe and sound. Well, after trying to recoup it for about half an hour, I started rewriting the chapter all over again, uploading to Dropbox every two minutes in a fit of paranoia. On the bright side, it was only a chapter rewrite and I have a tendency to read back over and over again as I progress, so I remembered about 90% of what I’d written. I still mourn for the lost 10%.
My thought process about this as I walked back to my ship feeling crushed and dejected was ‘why does this crap happen to me?’ I had to remind myself shit happens. I pulled out my own words I’d offered to a coworker, a shipmate, who was young, getting a divorce, having financial and roommate problems, and having Mom’s boyfriend conflicts.
It seemed pretty rough, but I looked back at the rough times in my life and everyone else around me and it wasn’t any rougher. She asked when it would ever end and just settle down. I said it won’t. It’s LIFE. It’s like this for everyone. There’s always a challenge or an obstacle. Whether it crushes you or not depends on how you deal with it. Can you accept the challenge, handle it, and move ahead?
I dealt with my obstacle last night by rewriting the chapter all over again before it wasn’t fresh in my head any longer. So what if I was up until 3 AM doing it? I feel so much better now that it’s done that the initial loss doesn’t hurt so much any more. I had to work at it instead of throwing my hands in the air and giving up.
Some obstacles are harder than others, obviously, but when it comes to the day to day grind, you have to pick your fights. I won’t be crushed by anything as small as the dog eating my work. I’ll save my breakdown for something big.
So how do you deal with life’s challenges? What carries you through? What advice do you give to those who are struggling? And how long should you have a thumb drive anyway before you replace it with something new that won’t eat your manuscript???
PS, off the subject, head over to Alex J. Cavanaugh’s blog and join his Top Ten TV Shows Blogfest! And don’t forget to sign up for my Blogfeast on Sep 23. I've also updated my "Books" page to better reflect what books I'm working on. You can check that out in the upper left corner. Yep, waaaay up there. Have a great holiday weekend!