Thursday, September 22, 2016

Computer Headache

Tuesday night as I was getting everything ready to leave for Chicago I discovered that I lost nine days of writing. All that was on my computer was a previous version of A Tangled Yarn. I don’t know how it happened. I always hit save when I even walked away from the computer.

This was the first time I was starting from scratch writing in Word. Usually I write in WordPerfect and then convert the document to Word when I have to turn it in. One of the things I don’t like about Word is that it doesn’t show you the whole path of a file on the top of the screen and whether it has been saved. With WordPerfect when you hit save, it shows the whole path of the file followed by unmodified.

I momentarily freaked, but then realized it was only a waste of time and energy. I would simply have to recreate what I wrote. I began yesterday on the plane. Who knows maybe the new stuff I write will be better.

Now I have a flash drive plugged into my Mac laptop and am making sure I save to it. The Mac is part of the reason I decided to start in Word. There is no WordPerfect for Mac, so if I wanted to move from my desk top PC to the Mac it was easier to use Word.

I did notice that the file had an extension of .dot instead of doc. I can’t investigate any more right now because the computer I had the problem with is almost 1800 miles away.

So it is just onward and keep making sure the saves work. There are so many things to love about writing on a computer rather than a typewriter, I'll deal with the shortcomings.


Ellen said...

Oh Lord, that happened to Monica last winter. I even had set an automatic backup, but it still all went. There was much shrieking and gnashing of teeth, followed by rewrite on a new computer.

Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence. Anybody have a third example of Word doing this?

Linda O. Johnston said...

Oh, dear, Betty. How frustrating! I know you'll be able to rewrite what you lost, probably even better than the first draft, but that's still a terrible situation.

Monica Ferris said...

Years ago I lost a whole segment of a novel and had to re-write it. Then I found it again (don't remember the circumstances, but it was back in the days of floppy discs). And to my amazement, the recreated portion was almost identical to the lost portion. Another example of my insane theory that all stories written or to be written already exist in an invisible orbit around the earth, and writers are born with invisible antennae tuned to some of these stories. That's why so many of us can tell you that sometimes it seems someone else is writing what appears on the screen; it comes into the brain and out the fingers without the "author" doing the work.

Betty Hechtman said...

Ellen, it isn't the computer because I was working on another file at the same time and it saved just fine. I noticed that earlier version of the file with my manuscript had a dot extension. I'm not sure how that happened. It seems to mean template and maybe somehow it was protected. I changed the extension to doc and now I can see that the file is showing that t was saved.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, I hope you're right and the new stuff us better than the old.

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, I know what you mean. I have written something again and then when I found the original saw it was almost word for word the same. I have also been surprised by what I have written at times. It seems like someone snuck in and wrote it.

Kim S said...

Check the temp directory