Religious songs can make you face
A lunchtime of coercion,
For, if you sing a maize-zing graze,
You may well get corn version!


When you make of yourself
someone you enjoy being,
other people enjoy being with you.

Writer’s Horror Story

Imagine that, on a roll, you have poured heart and soul over several days into several chapters of a book at a really difficult part of it.  You then go to save it onto a memory stick so that a Much Better Half can catch up with the story, and to ensure you have a backup.  You bring up the two files and do a copy and replace.

Singing happily, you then open your hard drive copy to continue.  It is some six thousand words short.  Frantically, you bring up the copy on the memory stick.  So is that.  

You have done the save the wrong way round.

Talk about a sinking feeling to make one of being on the Titanic seem like Amateur Night!  I felt physically sick.

It is infinitely worse than mistakenly deleting a file.  At least one can generally retrieve it from Recycle Bin when that happens.  What it must feel like to have an entire book, plus all backup files, stolen in a robbery – as I have heard has happened to some writers  – is beyond imagination. I don’t think I could ever bring myself to start afresh.

Anyway, in this instance I was saved from going and flushing myself down the toilet by discovering that, somehow, I had also saved the file in another version at some time beforehand.

My heart she still go a-peet-a-pat, though!

© Colonialist February 2014 (WordPress)




About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Personal Journal, Quotes, Really Awful Rhyme, Wordplay, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. adeeyoyo says:

    CORNFUCILONIALIST he say exakly rite! So glad you didn’t lose all! The mealie bit is excellent! Wow Col, you seem to have writer’s diarrhoea!


  2. Sonel says:

    Now that would have me in tears for sure Col! But I am glad to hear you did save it somewhere else. Love the rhyme. You’re so great at it! 😀


  3. Arkenaten says:

    Ah, the fear of loss. Yes, that haunts every writer I am sure. I l know I’ve been in that leaky boat a couple of of times.
    There are one or two files that were never able to be recovered. Huge wads of words that are wafting around the ether somewhere.

    It makes one physically nauseated.
    Having had hard drives crash, a snapped flash drive and the ”saving files the wrong way round” thing happen, there is always a small feeling of paranoia when ones opens up Word.
    Funny, I never felt like this when I wrote my first novel….in longhand.

    I try to back up everything 2X these days. Which reminds me….the partial rewrite I am doing needs backing up.

    And a truly Dreadful Rhyme as usual.. Good stuff!


  4. Desire says:

    Wow. Your last paragraph was quite a relief! I felt tense just reading this post!
    Love the mielie bit too!


  5. nrhatch says:

    ACK! Glad you found a back up for the back up.


  6. I know exaactly how you feel… a publisher’s flunky came to make my computer compatible with theirs. She didn’t. She wiped everything, including a book of poetry, and I had no copy of that and have never written poetry since!


  7. Always back up and have two memory sticks!


  8. Oh my word. I think I’d have a cadenza!


  9. bulldog says:

    Oh no I’d probably just give up there and then… I save mine in three places, just for safety sake… I’ve got the shivers just for your part…


  10. I almost deleted my entire accounting files for the past three years in the process of getting a new laptop. Thanks to MTM, the patient one, I recovered them. Just barely.


  11. cobbies69 says:

    So pleased you managed to find a copy.. I have lost a few chapters in the past, so now I auto save every few minutes… happy to hear you recovered it 😉


    • colonialist says:

      I have found that the very act of backing up can lead to disaster notwithstanding religious autosaves. One often does it when tired after a long spell of writing, and all it needs is a simple mistake.


  12. I once lost a 20K word degree assignment. I tell myself that the replacement I wrote was better, but tht’s probably wishful thinking. I hope you are able to sort the second backup into some semblance of the original.


    • colonialist says:

      You are made of sterner stuff than I am. I think I would have curled up and died.
      On the occasions I have lost stuff I have written, I have never been able to rid myself of the conviction that the original version had been better than the replacement.


      • Arkenaten says:

        True. Different, but somehow it doesn’t have that Eureka spark to it.
        This is what freaks me out more than anything when files go whooomph!
        Even when you can remember the passage, that spark, that thrill of the initial composition is lost for ever.


  13. disperser says:

    Did the same thing during a backup a couple of years ago. I lost about a month’s worth of writing, and since I write without an outline, I could not quite recreate what I had written by inspiration

    I mean, I got the gist of it, but something was lacking in the rewrite, and I could not figure out, still can’t, what I had done in the first run-through.

    Spent literally hours looking through backups, trying to retrieve deleted files, going through temp files, searching the hard drive for bits of text . . . nothing. Gone, and gone for good.

    Not a 100% safe, but now I write in the cloud and copy to my hard drive which then undergoes a double backup . . . yeah, don’t want to go through that again.

    Glad that in your case you found it.


    • colonialist says:

      I can relate completely.
      My first versions may need drastic revision and overhaul, but I still always feel they contain a kernel which cannot be reproduced on a second attempt.
      I also don’t use outlines – in fact, part of the fun I get out of writing is surprising myself with developments. My current novel has just given me two major shocks.
      I do backups, but there is little protection against the sort of error which actually deletes what has gone before!


  14. Wow, that was a close shave 🙂


  15. Oh, horrors!! It’s bad enough when I accidentally delete a post. I can’t imagine what it must be like to think you’ve mislaid several chapters. 😯 Love your corny rhymes. They made me smile from ear to ear.


  16. misswhiplash says:

    That was lucky and so easy to make that mistake xxxx


  17. newsferret says:

    Puleez do not mention the stolen ….. I am still living no pleasure as I am struck with high blood pressure.


  18. The Asian says:

    I’m glad that you managed to find a more recent version!


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