(This is a repost of my December 5, 2017 blog. This is one of the few things from this timeframe that has not changed at all.  I still lose stuff, so writing about it made me hyper-aware of how this affects everything I do.  Now, I need to go find this blog I’m typing for next week…)

I am prone to losing things. Keys, money, important documents, myself–anything that can be lost, I could find a way to lose.

As a result of my “need for a job,” I sought to liquidate some assets to soften the financial blow of “needing a job.” Things that held value: furniture, computers, and other electronics.  I didn’t possess multiple computers obviously, so I would need to do something with my book.

By this point, I started typing my book on my computer, and so losing my computer would be … traumatic. This trauma was mitigated by the hope that someday I will own a computer again, and would continue the story. It didn’t hurt that my writers’ block had yet to abate, so the sale of the computer was allowed to continue.

As a precaution, I made several backups: a double density and high-density floppy disk, a Zip disk, and a rewritable CD, each with the book in multiple formats. My book was safe and future-proofed. (This is amusing now, considering NONE of these are used today by me. Though if I had to, I could look at a CD).  This pause did help, but not like I thought.

‘Having a job’ proved rewarding, enough so that I sought a place of my own. After a move, I purchased another computer and was ready to start again.  However, there was a problem:  I lost my book.  All of them.  They were stored separately, to avoid them being damaged together (when you can’t find any of them, does it really matter?), so after a thorough search, I gave up.  It would be a few months before I could stomach a decision.  On what to do now.

I finally decided to start again.  It shouldn’t take much, I thought. I knew the story, and it’ll be better.  Yeah, this is an opportunity: a chance to fix everything I messed up in the previous draft.

So, I wrote three chapters… and gave up. Not that I didn’t try to get further. Rather, the beginning was to my liking at the time. The parts I wanted to adjust though were much further in, so it presented a challenge to rewrite a section I already liked.  I also felt there were details I was missing, including why I remember a particular action being taken, with nothing in the story at that point explaining the actions. After starting and stopping a few times, I was forced to shut my rewrite down out of frustration.

Moving is a chore

When I moved again a short time later, I wasn’t looking forward to it.  To make it a little easier to deal with, I decided to take the opportunity to clear the clutter and see what was actually needed.  I had a lot of junk.  A. LOT.

But, it would prove to be a rewarding effort.  In one of the last boxes I had to dump (it was a box I realized I hadn’t seen since I moved to this place–not sure how…), I found a pile of drawings I was looking for, and underneath…, wait. Seriously?

There they were. Together. Two floppy disks, a Zip disk, and a rewritable CD! (Who did this?  Why are they together?  They were supposed to be… Never mind).  I immediately copied the contents of each to my computer, as this was exactly what I thought it to be.

Finally, I had my book!  I could finally finish it!

Wait, what was the story again? What was giving me writers’ block?

By this point, so much time had passed, I had forgotten the story I was writing (we’re in a different century).  So, I read it again, to refresh. I found myself reading my book like everyone else will.  It was surprising how little of it I remembered writing, or what motivated me to convey a thought with these particular words.

Or, more surprising, how little detail there was.  I would read a section, and I would realize that half the story was missing.  I understood where I was going; as I read it, I could recall more and more plot points.  But, I was realizing most of them were still in my head as I was writing (see my previous post about writing SLOW…). This meant that I was paraphrasing to compensate: get enough of the story on the page to continue writing what I could. It also meant I needed to fill in some blanks I didn’t realize I left.

But, I also noticed something interesting.  As I finished reading this draft, I realized I didn’t remember the story the way I wrote it.  In fact, I looked at the three chapters I had started separately, and realized I had fixed my writing obstruction with those three chapters.  I suddenly knew where the story needed to go.

I finally could finish!

But wait, what do I do after that?


 

Blogs in this series:

The Challenge of the Written Form

Original blog – Lost and Found

Near Completion

Publication, of one’s self

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