When Will I Learn?

Blog No. 198

While it may not seem obvious, I’ve been working away on Pilot all year. I would agree with people commenting that it’s been taking too long and nine months to complete 45 000 words is sad. Yup. I’m right there with you. Still, it’s the longest story I’ve written (longer every time I plug away at it) and it’s only the third novel I’ve ever attempted to write. Again, having tried and failed twice before isn’t something I’m super proud to share, but it’s a fact, and I know I’m not the only person who’s been in that boat. The first try was just not a goo enough story to be a novel I made it to a forced fifth chapter, coming up with new things to add every day (padding out the lack of plot). Eventually I came to term with the faulty concept and moved on. The second one was much better. I was a huge idea and I managed to get to 35 000 words before floundering.

I’ve had many more fail starts than those two, but most of those were never intended to be novels, or I wasn’t really serious about it and dropped off after the first few pages. It’s had to even count those as attempts. Not worth the bother. This time though, I am determined to finish. I know writing a book over a year is not the best idea. It leaves a lot of cleaning and organizing for the next few drafts, but I’ve got to get it finished. Not only for pride and growth as a writer, but because I’ve wanted to tell the story for so long.

With the new year, Christian and I have a rough idea of what books we want to publish. Now that it’s all official, we have to think far ahead and sort things out. We have our own work we want to do, plus work for Adventure Worlds, so planning is necessary. The first thing on the list is a novella/novelette made from a short story I initially wrote for the book that became No Light Tomorrow. I’m itching to get at it, but I have to finish Pilot first. It’s the number one thing on my list and everything else is on hold until it’s done.

That’s not so easy when you lose a good chapter and a half. I know the blame is mine, I know working off of a lash drive is always risky, I know backing up important files should be done constantly. That didn’t stop me from freaking out when the less-than-a-year-old flash drive crashed, destroying the work along with the most updated sales tracker, the long file of all my blog posts, and the latest additions to Pilot. You’re likely screaming at me for working from a flash drive to begin with, and believe me, I know. Because I have the ability to do some work at work (like writing a lot of my blog posts) when things are quiet, I had to have the flash drive to download and save everything. My intentions were simple. Work off the drive, back it up all the time, not be too bothered when it eventually crashes.

I didn’t take into account my unbelievable laziness. I ended up working off the drive even at home. It was easy. Everything was the most up-to-date. I’d back it all up once or twice a week. If I were out at Anchor getting in some writing on my laptop, I’d drop my latest additions onto the computer’s hard drive and for good measure, toss it on my google drive too. But backing it up every time I add anything—forget about that noise. Being reliable and responsible is for losers, and for people who don’t want to rewrite a few thousand words.

I’m just about back to where I was before the crash, but with a good week of moping and all the time to catch up, I lost time and momentum. I’m much more diligent about backing up though. Too bad it too losing some work to get it through my thick skull. Though, it could have been much worse. I’ve lost entire stories before, even when I thought it was properly backed up. Now it’s back to the story. Hopefully I can finish it off faster than it took me to get this far.

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4 thoughts on “When Will I Learn?

  1. You should try writing on Google Drive. It saves automatically and is available from any computer with Internet. I made the switch years ago and it has saved me a lot of hassle. My sympathies on losing work, but I’ve found that sometimes it’s a blessing in disguise and you write it better the second time.

    1. Thanks for the tip Justine, but I find working with google docs to be a pain. I back up to drive, but I’ve lost a whole story there once too.
      I’m just glad it wasn’t the whole story this time. I don’t think I could start this one from scratch.

  2. Ugh! Data losses are the worst, I’m so sorry that happened to you!

    (Jason quickly makes additional backups of his novel.)

    Have you considered using something like Dropbox? Options can give you a local folder on your computer that you can save to that backs it up online with every save instantly. It’s really handy.

    1. Isn’t it the worst? I do the dropbox thing, but with google drive. I was just too productive and too lazy for a week. Plus, since I do a lot of work where I have no internet access or available storage outside of a flash drive… You get the idea.

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