My Dad Deleted My Novel

A nostalgic and cautionary tale about backing up your work.

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Photo by Fredy Jacob on Unsplash

An inspiring start

It was an epic fantasy about four magical girls that could transform into dragons. There was an anthropomorphic black cat that helped them, and an evil bad guy to be overthrown. There was lore, the genocide of the cat’s species, and bloodlines. Artifacts abound, and each girl had their own unique dragon form (including eastern-style dragons). It was my opus, my pride and joy, nestled in the confines of the C: drive.

A dream disappeared

Just like most evenings, I logged onto the desktop, ready to get through another chapter. But something was wrong. The midi files I had downloaded were gone. Still, that was just music. But the Word document was gone too. Cue my heart starting to pound. Months of work, MIA. I searched everywhere, checked the Recycle Bin, then double checked while forcing myself to take deep breaths.

The lessons learned

While those magical girls and their trusty cat remain relegated to the fringes of my memory, I did learn a few lessons from this little disaster:

  1. Tell people what you’re working on.
    It had never occurred to me to tell my dad (or anyone, really) that I was writing a novel. We’re often told to announce our convictions loud and proud, and it can be a good way to build up a support network for the arduous task of bringing your story into the world.
    I still waffle on whether or not to keep people up to date on what I’m working on (except the person that has contracted stories from me; he gets to know everything he wants to know) because I worry that the praise that rolls in just from intentions will lead me to complacency when it comes to actually following through. But some people do NEED to know you’re working on a project. Tell them.
  2. Back up your work again. Trust me.
    Seriously. You’ll never regret backing up your work.

Poet and author across several genres, with a love of photography and gardening. Find out more:

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