The legend of Ernest Hemingway’s lost suitcase and the unpublished manuscript it contained epitomizes every writer’s worst nightmare: Your work has ceased to exist. Rejection carries the possibility of revision, but physical loss is permanent. While you may be able to reconstruct plot and characters and a line or two of dialogue, the bones and muscles of the story–the sentences–are gone. Who knows what mood, what whim, inspired a certain turn of phrase, a certain word choice? People always hold out hope that one day, Hemingway’s lost work will resurface. It was, after all, written on physical paper.
Not only am I way less talented than Hemingway, I am also much more foolish. Instead of giving my writing to an absent-minded spouse, I gave my work to a USB flash drive which is now sitting on my desk like an inedible plastic stick of chewing gum. There is almost no chance the stories and ideas and things on the drive will be recovered (thanks, google).
Yes, yes, you’re supposed to make back-ups of these things….The funny thing is, that drive WAS my back-up. After my old computer died, it was all that was left, and I thought to myself “Gee, it’s a good thing I have all my important stuff saved.” I guess I was supposed to make back ups of the back ups, and then upload it to the Cloud, and then make sure I had twenty versions of it saved in Time Machine.
All of this makes me wish I had just done the smart thing and written it all out…on paper. Stupid technology. (end of rant)
Appropriate Keane song of the day: “Disconnected”