Beware the Swamp Monster
o here’s the deal, my friends:
Like the the above picture, only it’s worse because my swamp is filled with creatures called REVISIONS that like to eat little writers for breakfast.
There are actually three kinds of monsters in this swamp: editorial revisions for SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY, personal revisions for SCREECHERS, and the totally crappy FML kinda stuff.**
They are vicious, exhausting, and relentless.
And though I try to look cool when I fight them (to the death, I might add):
I usually end up looking more like this:
But, someone’s gotta do it. Someone has to make sure those dreadful revision monsters don’t take over the world, and that someone is ME.
So as you can probably guess, I’ll be busy for a while. And all this trudging through waist-deep muck (muck I once considered adequate prose) and battling away monsters (who conveniently come with Battling-Completion Deadlines) leaves little time for the blog.
But I’ll be back. I promise. It just might be a week or two.
Lots of love from the swamp!
**The totally crappy FML stuff happened yesterday. I’ve been using the beta version of Scrivener for Windows, and unbeknown to me, there was a MASSIVE bug in the newest beta download.
The bug? NO SAVING. So, after 5 days of thinking I’d saved and backed up my files, it turns out I was saving NOTHING.
Yep, that’s right. When I closed the program, it was as if I’d never saved at all. Everything I had typed just vanished. Every file I was backing-up each day was actually EMPTY. Because you see, the program wasn’t simply losing the files, it was never creating them. It’s like pretending to put money in a piggy bank everyday–when you open the bank at the end of the week, there’s not gonna be any money there.
So those 153 pages I wrote? They never even really EXISTED.
153 PAGES!!!!! I LOST 153 PAGES OF NON-RECOVERABLE PROSE. It was literally half of my novel, and it is literally unsalvageable.
This is, of course, not Scrivener’s fault! It’s my own for not being more careful while using a software’s beta version…but it HURT. I spent the majority of yesterday binge eating cheese and considering a new career path.
But I shall persevere! I write those 153 pages AGAIN! It’s just one more monster I have to tackle in the weeks to come…
April 15, 2011 @ 8:09 am
OH. MY. If I lost that many pages I would curl up into a ball and cry for weeks! months! years! Well. Maybe you’re going to write them even better the second time around, and who knows, sometimes brilliant ideas emerge from mistakes. 🙂 Good luck getting through the swamp, Susan! you inspire me 🙂
April 15, 2011 @ 9:40 am
Thanks, Happy!! I keep telling myself that: this was an act of God to tell me my pages sucked. Must…find…positive…in…here…SOMEWHERE.
April 15, 2011 @ 8:52 am
I personally like Bordeaux Cherry Chocolate Blue Bunny ice cream. And I agree with Happy, you’ll probably write the pages better this time around. Sorry it happened but I know you will persevere & come out on top.
April 15, 2011 @ 9:40 am
Thank you, Jan! And that ice cream sounds divine. Ice cream in general sounds like a really grand idea. Hmmm, where’d I put my wallet….must walk to store now.
April 15, 2011 @ 8:55 am
I appreciate your, “Must make joke out of this else I DO collapse into a pile of tears/accidentally go on a rampage and destroy half of Germany.” It’s how I would react. But please, eat more cheese anyway. It will help. (And maybe add some Mozart balls OMG YUM.)
Dood, I should watch the original Star Wars again. It’s been years.
April 15, 2011 @ 9:43 am
HA. Yes, there’s been a lot of “dramatization”. I’ll act super melo-dramatic in an attempt to push these negative feelings aside…
Although, I’ll confess, I stayed in bed this morning until 9:00 and wondered WHAT WAS THE POINT if in one stupid bug, I could lose EVERYTHING?
But I finally pulled myself together since, you know, I still have deadlines and work to do. ::looks around for more cheese:: I think I’m gonna have to binge eat through today too…
April 18, 2011 @ 2:03 pm
Did you say stay in bed until 9:00? That’s sleeping in? GEEZ. You’re gonna make me really examine my life, arentcha?
(Sleeping in, for me, means 11am or later.)
I hope the ::gulp:: rewrites are going well. I believe in you lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots!
April 15, 2011 @ 9:07 am
:’C I’m so sorry, Sooz! I’m procrastinating finishing my research paper by reading your blog and I think if I only lost my measly 10 pages of research, I would cry myself into a ball and probably kill something. Not me, just something else.
Like a bunny.
… Ok, not really. No bunny killing.
Anyway, I’m glad you are going to keep going forward, though! Your determination is most inspiring 🙂 You. Are. Awesome.
P.S.: You should know that I’m using your BICHOK method to write my paper. I’m almost done! 😀
April 15, 2011 @ 9:45 am
Woot for BICHOK! That’s awesome, Adriana!!
I kinda want to kill a bunny too, but…I’d feel so rotten after I did it.
It’s okay, I’m coping today with more binge eating. I may gain 80 pounds from this experience, but I also learned to backup files in a million different ways!!!!! Basically, not just Scrivener but as Word docs and PDFs and maybe even on papyrus.
April 15, 2011 @ 2:35 pm
Gah, it so sucks that you lost all of that. I’ve lost pages before, but never that much. I’d definitely be binge eating too. I just try to remember if I lose something that the second time it’ll be stronger. Because you know what you’re doing and where you’re going, and can infuse it with more emotional depth.
If you need a pep talk, just let me know. 😉 *hugs*
April 15, 2011 @ 3:21 pm
Yeah…it’s been a roller coaster of emotions yesterday and today. I’m really clinging to that “it’ll be stronger the second time”. And thanks for the hugs!! 🙂
April 15, 2011 @ 3:00 pm
Oh Sooz, that’s AWFUL. I gasped when I read that. That’s such a huge amount to lose. I think you deserve to eat all of the cheese (and chocolate and cookies and whatever else strikes your fancy) that you can get your hands on!
Good luck with all of the revisions and rewriting. I know you can do it!
April 15, 2011 @ 3:22 pm
Lots and lots of eating. After polishing off the cheese, I turned to every piece of candy in my house. I just finished the last bag of sour gummies…on to the bread, I think. 😉
And when I found out I hadn’t been saving my work for 5 days, this was my reaction:
Then I started crying. It was totally pathetic.
April 15, 2011 @ 3:06 pm
OMG! I can’t even image how depressed I would be if I lost 153 pages of work. At the speed I write, that would probably be six months of work. I’m surprised you can even manage to post coherent sentences at this point.
I’m so worried about losing copies of my WIP, I obsessively back up every file every day. (I keep each chapter in a separate file, which lowers the likelihood that I’ll lose everything in one fell swoop.) I still have versions from two years ago. I use dropbox to store the files for safe keeping in the cloud, which also syncs them to two different computers at home. I keep separate backups on my work computer and an old laptop at home, and I also keep a copy of everything on a thumbdrive that I carry with me constantly. I know it’s a bit over the top, but it’s the only way I can fall asleep at night without having nightmares.
April 15, 2011 @ 3:25 pm
Oh trust me, Ken. I back up like CRAZY. I also use dropbox, and I upload my work at the end of each day. I also use a jump drive at the end of each day, and on weekends, I move everything to an external harddrive. I’ve lost work before from not backing-up.
The problem this time was that I was essentially baking up empty files. Every few minutes when I hit “save”, the computer wasn’t actually doing anything. So when I closed the program, all those words vanished.
It’s like not putting paper in a typewriter and then typing 150 pages. There’s no record I did anything.
And yeah, I’m kinda depressed (read: borderline suicidal), but I’m really trying to move past and keep on chugging. Easier said than done.
April 15, 2011 @ 3:13 pm
SO sorry to hear about your lost work. That sucks. There is no other way to say it. I hope you can get it back on the page quickly.
take all the time you need!
April 15, 2011 @ 3:26 pm
Thanks, Katharine. You’re right–there’s really no other way to say it. 🙂
April 15, 2011 @ 6:13 pm
Wow, sorry about the Scrivener fiasco, Susan. I’ve been dying to use Scrivener for Windows but I’m not a fan of beta-tesing, mostly for the exact stuff you’re going through! Good luck rewriting and take the time you need. You’re a writer first – blogger is up there in the list somewhere, but not #1. Happy writing!
April 15, 2011 @ 9:03 pm
Thanks, Brandi. As I keep telling myself, c’est la vie. I gave myself a day to feel sorry and discouraged, and from here on out, it’s back to work.
You’re right, I’m a writer first, and so I will recover by WRITING some more. 😀
April 15, 2011 @ 8:19 pm
Have you checked with Scrivener technical support? Maybe it’s in a temporary file somewhere. Have you scoured your hard drives?
April 15, 2011 @ 9:02 pm
Yeah, I checked with them immediately. They were very helpful, but there is no solution…no temporary file. The bug in the beta version was that no saving was happening–no nothing.
At least they released a newer beta that fixed the problem.
🙂 Thanks for the idea, though.
April 16, 2011 @ 12:47 am
My heart is with you! I am going through revisions, too–though it sounds like not nearly to the extent that your are (I ADORE your revision monsters). I’ve lost work before as well, but never so much. I can only imagine your day yesterday. Hang in there! I’m glad you can laugh enough to make an entertaining, pic-filled blog post.
April 16, 2011 @ 1:41 pm
Haha–I’m glad you love the wild revision monsters. 🙂 And yeah, laughing has definitely been the best coping mechanism–well, in addition to all that cheese I gorged on…
April 16, 2011 @ 1:58 am
That BLOWS, Susan!!! GAH! I’m so sorry!
April 16, 2011 @ 1:41 pm
Thanks, Amanda. After 2 days, I’m feeling much better…still discouraged as hell, but not quite so “THE WORLD MUST DIIIIEEEE”. 😉
April 16, 2011 @ 3:36 am
That SUCKS! I can relate. My hard drive crashed recently and I lost everything–years worth of pictures, all my music, and the first draft of my WIP. I’ve mostly retyped the stuff I lost, and it really does sound better than it did in that crappy first draft version. So there is hope! Just give it a few weeks and you’ll probably have written something way more awesome than the stuff you lost.
April 16, 2011 @ 1:43 pm
Um, okay, Stephanie. I think you win. That sounds WAY worse–pictures? music? and an entire first draft? Oh jeez, my problem sounds minor compared to that… So, on the one hand: I’m SORRY for how awful that is, and on the other hand: thank you for putting my troubles in perspective. 🙂 It could have been worse!
And you’re right: round 2 will be better!
April 17, 2011 @ 9:50 pm
Oh lord, oh lord, oh lord. 153 pages. That’s. A. Lot. D; So sorry! Clearly, though, as Stephanie said, the second time through, your writing’s going to be so much snazzier. *buoys you up*
And good luck with those revisions! Hopefully you’ll only have to deal with professional and personal kinds now — no more of that FML stuff. Oui?
April 18, 2011 @ 2:51 am
Thanks, Yahong! I feel like your comment calls for a joyous ::fist pump::! 🙂
April 18, 2011 @ 12:13 am
This is terrible. I’m truly sorry. Beta 023 has addressed this nasty issue.
April 18, 2011 @ 2:50 am
Thank you, Lee. Scrivener is still my favorite writing program. I think it would have to eat my first born or something to lose its spot as #1.
All is forgiven, I have the new beta, and c’est la vie. I’m recovering. 🙂