View Full Version : What would you do if your "writing journal" was lost or destroyed?

12-16-2008, 01:12 AM
We had a fire drill at school today and it occurred to me that the notebook in which I keep all of my writings is probably my most valued possession. So, what would you do/how would you feel if your "writing journal" or whatever you call it was lost or destroyed? (If you keep your writing stuff on the computer or a flash drive, imagine that the computer was completely infested with virus' or reformatted)

It'd be pretty upsetting for me. I write it in my notebook first, and then I type it up for a second draft. I haven't been able to catch up to my notebook - most of what's in there hasn't been typed. All of my concept work is in there too, but at the very least I also have that in my head. It's harder to remember everything I write, especially if it's a first draft.

I'd probably do my best to recreate those chapters, or I would write them from scratch. I would immediately write down all the concept work though, just in case.

So, how about you?

(I apologize in advance if there is another thread on this, or if this is the wrong section to post it)

12-16-2008, 01:28 AM
My computer did get a virus a few years back. But I'd backed up all my writing a fortnight before and been rather lazy about writing anything new so I only (!) lost 6,000 words.

If this computer crashed, I'd be annoyed. But not suicidal. I have everything backed up.

And thank Christ I'm paranoid about backing up. My last computer blew up at the end of October a matter of days after my most recent burn-everything-onto-CD kick. Luckily my hard drive was salvageable (it was the motherboard that was fried) but for a moment...my heart stopped. The only things I didn't have backed up were a few unimportant photos, but I was able to save even those.

There's nothing even handwritten that I don't have in e-format as well, so if I lost one medium, I wouldn't be too upset. What are the chances of all my pen drives, SD cards, hard copies, notepads and computer all going tits-up at the same time?

12-16-2008, 01:30 AM
I;m not sure what I'd do. I'm not religious about backing things up. Everything would be lost.

I'd seriously think about relearning how to play guitar and chuck this whole writing thing. It's more aggravation than it's worth.

12-16-2008, 01:31 AM
Jesus, Fuzzface. Go back up.


12-16-2008, 01:34 AM
What? You don't want me playing guitar?

12-16-2008, 01:35 AM
I'm thinking of your literary genius.

12-16-2008, 01:36 AM
I'm thinking of your literary genius.

Yeah, the agents and publishers are beating a path to my door.

12-16-2008, 01:38 AM
Shouldn't this be in Round Table?


If you published a crappy novel, playing up the he's a ferret!!! angle could boost sales.

12-16-2008, 01:43 AM
I have lost a lot of work recently. Half the work I've done in the last year and a half, as a matter of fact.

BACK UP BACK UP BACK UP. That is to say, back up your work in multiple places.

That said, what will I do? Since I'm fairly confident my skills have improved since then, and I know what the stories are, I'll simply rewrite them, hopefully better than before. If I can't rewrite them, then maybe it is for the best. What else is there to do? Wail, tear my hair out, wear sackcloth and ashes? That doesn't fix anything, the work is still gone. You just have to move on from there. It really ain't the end of the world. Unless, of course, you failed to back up and don't have a copy to send when an agent frequests a full. Then, you're pretty much screwed, I'm sorry to say.

So, yeah. Back up everything. If it's handwritten drafts and notes, then I'd make photocopies and stash them in a fireproof safe along with other important documents, if that's how you work.

12-16-2008, 01:53 AM
When I was like 16 I was writing a vampire story with sex in it and I left the notebook at my Grandma's house. She opened it. And read it. And burned it.

It was probably about 50 pages at the time. Man, I was pisssssed. I had to recreate the whole thing. Which I did, cursing my grandma the whole time.

12-16-2008, 01:56 AM
Ha! Vampire novels with sex. Gotta love 'em.

12-16-2008, 02:04 AM
Lol, AmandaAcidic. I would be flaming pissed if that were me. What'd you say to her?

I...would have a meltdown. I consider the situation the OP described to be one of the worst things that could happen to me, short of illness, loss of a friend, death, etc...you understand. My files are backed up multiple times over to prevent such a happening. When I was in high school, I took my writing notebook with me everywhere. Fire drill in January? Whatever. I'd be the one in the short sleeves who forsook my coat in favor of my writing. No joke.

I would rewrite if I lost things, though. I'd swear like a sailor the whole time, but I'd do it.

12-16-2008, 02:19 AM
I told her it was none of her damn business what I write. That she shouldn't have read it in the first place. All she had to do was read the first couple setences to know it wasn't hers or my cousins who lived with them at the time or my grandpa's. I was sooooo mad.

Clair Dickson
12-16-2008, 05:13 AM
Heh-- I'm horrible. When we have fire drills at school, I take my flash drive with me. (And I'm the teacher!) I'm willing to risk firey death to keep my files. I can pretend it's because I keep my grades on there, but really, when I put the grades in the computer, I send it to Google Docs (shhh...) so I can have redundancies. I also do that with any piece of writing worth saving-- or at least copy it onto my computer when I get home.

I burn my whole computer onto a CD (well, now onto DVD) each semester, then clean up for the new term. My biggest fear in inclement weather is that something could happen and I'd lose my computer. When the tornado sirens go off, I grab my flash drive, and sometimes my latest back up CD/DVD before huddling for safety. Losing things would be nothing-- losing my writing, my work, and all that, would be devastating. Second only to losing Hubby, I think.

12-16-2008, 05:58 AM
...this happened to a guy, around 20, in my city a few years ago. He was writing by a river and his journal accidentally fell in. He jumped in to try to save it and wound up drowning :-(

12-16-2008, 06:04 AM
I don't know what I'd do. I'd rather not think of such things. There's a reason I have 7 pen drives, 2 external drives, plus I save on my husband's computer, our desktop computer, AND I send copies to scarletpeaches. One of my pen drives is ALWAYS with me, and my husband keeps one with him.

I seriously think I would lose my mind.