What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

Today, I was working diligently on chapter 17 of Eli the Thief. It’s actually my favorite chapter in the entire story. An epic battle between good and bad wizards takes place in it. The end of the battle is my favorite piece that I’ve ever written. It’s actually the segue for the last 1/3 or 1/4 of my book. I originally wrote this chapter for an earlier draft of this book and was so happy to be able to bring it back with this draft. I finished it off, making it longer than its original version (which was good.) And then I started chapter 18. I went to save chapter 18 and realized that I may have saved it as chapter 17. “No, no no, this can’t be happening!” Yep, it was true. Chapter 18 had accidentally been overwritten as chapter 17.

So, what did I do? After the hissy fit on Twitter of course. I mean, who doesn’t throw one of those. (Funny, I just had about 5 of my favorite authors throw a hissy fit in my head. It was, well, funny.) I did what I had to do. I went back to the original version of the chapter, resaved it as chapter 17 and started the revision of it all over again. Yep, that’s right. What else am I supposed to do, give up? Nope.

On Twitter, I actually wrote “#amwriting. One day #ampublished. Just not a self-published type of guy. But yeah, I’ll get there. You hear me! I’ll get there!” The irony of what happened ten minutes later struck me as funny (I love irony, even when it’s afflicting me.)

But how do I argue with me? I just told the Twitter-universe (and we all know how binding things are there) that I am going to be published. I plan on it. I’m going to do it.

That last sentence in the previous paragraph has the ‘key’ to my success. “I’m going to do it.”  Who is going to write a book that a publisher will put my name on it and I get paid royalties from it? Me. And only me. No one is going to write it for me. Once upon a time, in a month about a year and a half ago, I was working on this book. One day, I woke up and said “I just wish I was done.” But then the other part of my brain said, “Really? Then do it. NO ONE IS GOING TO WRITE IT FOR YOU.” Ok, without the yelling and with more chocolate. Everything is better with chocolate. But honestly, if I became a well-known author and was asked to write a book about writing a book (the irony in such a thing is awesome to me), I would call is “No One is Going to Write It For You” out of the whole concept that sometimes, we wake up with this realization that if we want something done, we’re going to do it ourselves.

Is this the worst thing that could have happened to me and my writing? No, it’s honestly not. Funny enough, gmail is an awesome tool. Because I keep ‘sent messages’ around until kingdom come, my gmail sent box holds the majority of what I’ve written. That also means that other people have copies of it. This way, I can get my work back and go from there. That’s the best part of ‘unlimited space’ in your email. It can hold the necessary stuff.

Regardless, there are worse things that can happen. One minor step back just means that I’ll have to work longer to get done. Big deal. It’s already taken over 5 years to get to where I’m at now from conception of the story to almost completely written 4 times. Yep, one more day, one more chapter. Take it or don’t write. I’ll choose to write.

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.


3 Responses

  1. I can relate-there have been days I wish a certain project was just done so I could move on to the next one. But yeah you have to put butt in chair, fingers on keys and get it done yourself.

    Keep at it.

  2. “Oh no! Not a fit!”

    Did you lose Two Trees?

  3. E-mailing copies to yourself is a great pseudo-back-up method. It’s still miserable to lose material. All writers either HAVE or WILL at some point, and learn the lesson when it does.

    Yes, chocolate does make everything better, even rewriting–and you’re so right about the absolute basic rule of writing: you have to DO it, or a book never gets written. I think just about every person out there would love to write a book–but 75% never start, and of those who do start, 90% never finish.

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