I’ve been out on the country side writing for a week with my best friends, working my behind off trying to finish the first draft of my second novel ”Strindberg said only one good thing”. It’s been awesome as usual except for Tuesday night when I was miserable beyond belief.
I’d worked two days straight managing to go through about a 100 pages of text and editing 40 of them, when I realize that word has saved its .wbk towards a .temp from a .zip.
So nothing was still there. I tried to rework, but couldn’t muster up the strength so ended up having some bad fits of the sads before I got back on track.
It happens. And it happens to anyone who is relying on computers for their work. Things disappear, you mess up, lightning strikes and so on. It’s easy to say that it’ll be a better draft next time, because now you’ve at least processed it once, but it feels like hell anyway. I hate it, you hate it. Everyone hates losing work. Especially when your life depends on it. I don’t have a ”normal” job that pays my rent. My life is dependent on these things not getting mucked up.
So instead. Be sad, have fits. Be angry. Cry for a bit. It’s ok. Writing is emotional business to say the least. Feel free to feel like shit, for a while.
On the other side of that however, you will make a better draft. You will write even more, because if you get over it you will not be so damn stupid as to do the same mistake again.
I did end up finishing the first rewrite, and I’m happy I did so. I have some changes left to do and a lot of work, but I finished the first round. If I hadn’t messed up I probably would have been into the second round now, but hey, maybe this is better timing, who knows.
My friends and I have spent a lovely week getting sun, writing and reading each others texts, listening and giving each other critiques and I know that even if I didn’t get as far as I would have liked, I’ve learned heaps from listening to them and working with them.
We all write very different things, me doing metafiction, someone writing a story about high school and one writing erotica, one writing absurdist prose and one writing about twentysomethings and love. Meeting so many different types of text and always taking them at face value and tuning one self for them is a good exercise.