‘It’s only words’, sung the Bee Gees in the Sixties. Only? The words in question for me recently are the words of my novel-in-progress, which disappeared from my computer. No big deal though, is it? Nobody would be daft enough to ignore warnings to update back-ups of their highly important (important to me anyway) documents. Would they?
The catastrophe happened on Saturday 10 November 2013 at 4.15pm. I switched on my computer and the screen displayed a lovely deep-blue, like a midsummer sky on a glorious sunny day. But an empty sky. No songbirds. Nothing. I switched the computer off and back on again. Still nothing, except this sky-blue screen. Horror struck as I realised what it meant. My computer had died and gone to computer heaven.
A computer repair engineer confirmed my worst fears. Irreparable. His attempts to retrieve the info from my had drive proved unsuccessful. It was an old computer and ‘they don’t make drives like this anymore.’
Of course it could have been worse. Much worse. I had saved a copy of my novel-in-progress to a disc a month earlier. I was so relieved when this month old version appeared on my spanking new computer in Word 2013 with Windows 8 (I hate Windows 8 and Word 2013 but that’s another story). The problem is that a month’s editing is lost. I now have to painstakingly work through my manuscript, trying to remember where and how I’d done the improvements which took me hours of hard work the first time and will take hours again.
My new computer has some mysterious device on it called SkyDrive, which automatically backs up my work when I save it in Word. This will make it accessible if my computer breaks down, so I’m told. I don’t trust it though, especially with a name like that!
Have I learnt my lesson? Yes, ‘Save, Save, Save. Keep updating back-ups’ is now etched in my brain. Was all this worry my own silly fault? Of course it was.