Gut Rumbles

September 21, 2004

gone now

I lost a lot of stuff I wrote and saved when my computer crashed the other day. I have a lot of it saved on disks, but I didn't save it all. Some of the vanished stuff was pretty good, in my humble opinion.

I have a question to ask any writer out there: have you ever tried to go back and rewrite from scratch something you wrote a month ago? I can't do it. I can come up with something else, or something SIMILAR about the same topic, but I can't duplicate what I did before.

For me, good writing is often a one-shot deal. You lose that one, and it's gone.


I can never write again what I wrote before and lost.
Like you, I can try, and with luck it will be similar.... but It's never as good.

That's why I dont even bother trying unless I have no choice.

Posted by: Mad Ogre on September 21, 2004 11:38 AM

Geez, for me, even bad writing is a one shot wonder. I've long been a reader and quite envious of your abilities. One thing for sure, you've got more good stuff in you, and I can't wait to read it.

Posted by: Melissa on September 21, 2004 11:50 AM

I had a disk with all of my completed and publishable work on it. I'd print a story out, send it off to an editor, and wait for either the acceptance or rejection. Worked just fine.

Until the disk went bad, and took with it all of my completed work. I had some rough drafts of only three of the stories in hard copy.

I've tried re-writing what I lost. It just isn't there anymore.

Good thing there's plenty of new stuff.

Posted by: Veryalda Relisys on September 21, 2004 01:51 PM

I don't know if this would work or if it's even worth the trouble but maybe you could try to connect your old hard drive up to your new one in a master/slave configuration and try to save some of your documents that way. Assuming that you old drive is even readable.

Posted by: Kirk on September 21, 2004 03:36 PM

Ahhh- the pang of loss. I was once( please don't yawn, it distracts me !) listening to a street Flautist in San Francisco. I had requested "Swingin' Shepard Blues", and he informed me that he could not recall it. We disscussed the forgetting phenomena, and he related the following tale.
He was at a friends house in a Northern state, and was looking out the kitchen door window at slowly falling snow. He said that the fat snowflakes reminded him of musical notes, so he cranked up his flute, and watching the snow, started playing. He said that all creation seemed to flow through his breath and came out the Flute. He played for a long time. Sometimes he had tears as he played.
He finally stopped playing. But , when he tried to recapture the music, he couldn't. He tried and tried, but the flow of expression dissappeared. Only the feeling of loss remained.
" I hope" , he said ," that someday I remember"

Posted by: waitaminnit on September 21, 2004 08:29 PM

BTW, how's that novel coming along?

Posted by: BJK on September 21, 2004 10:33 PM

assuming i can call myself a "writer" i can usually get most of it back IF i try to recapture it right away. if there's any time lapse between the time i wrote it and the time i lose it, forget about it. it's gone, gone, gone.

worse yet, when that happens its really difficult to even want to recapture it. its like i put all my effort into it have to do it again is like pissing in the wind.

i have to say, after reading your initial post about the computer crash, i was amazed you didnt immediately go into some crazed rant about all the work you lost.

Posted by: mr. helpful on September 22, 2004 01:39 AM

If the magick be strong, the mental-cardial branding iron will be hot enough to rewrite a whole book if you have to.

Everything is written in drafts anyway, so if you rewrite the same piece, you'll probably do it even better, you just won't have the old draft to fall back on.

Worst case: it's OK to lose some stuff, it ain't the end of all. Like the hottie that turned you down, she's never really as good lookin' as you remember. Same with writing.

Technical side:

Save everything and save often! There are memory sticks that plug into your USB drive that can hold entire libraries yet fit on a keychain. Keep one "off-site" (e.g. in your truck) in case (knock on wood) there's a fire or something. You can get a good one for under 40 bucks or even less.

Also, print out some of your more important stuff. Then you'll always have a hard copy.

Posted by: horse with no-- on September 22, 2004 01:46 AM

Oh man! Was it Carlisle, or maybe Macaulay, that had his only copy of his labor of years, an important history book, I think, used by his ignorant chambermaid to kindle a fire?

Hey, it's just a machine! (in this case) That is, you shoulda known, and taken care. Now if it were an evil, or even careless human who had done that, err, I dunno, but I think I'd get *really* mad!

Posted by: Justthisguy on September 22, 2004 05:29 AM


If you have $400 to spend you might want to look at

Mirra does automatic backups for you. I've never used it personally, but i've heard good things about it.

Posted by: Rich on September 22, 2004 12:37 PM
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