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A Computer Glitch Ate My Article and It Is Due Today

computer glitchYikes! Somehow my computer ate the four pages of a long article I wrote yesterday! The whole thing is due today!

Okay, what probably happened is I didn’t save it. I mean I didn’t have a computer crash or anything. Yes, I have Word™ set to save every 10 minutes. I blame this kind of computer glitch on random neutrinos. We can’t see the bloody things, so who can say I’m wrong?

Although I’ve been using these machines since 1980 when I bought an Apple II +, I think of my hard drive as really looking like that picture on the left.

In other words, I know enough about computers to be dangerous.

A computer glitch can happen anytime

I don’t know how long it’s been since a document simply disappeared. Long enough so I’d gotten careless about keeping a backup as I go. Seems like I have to learn this lesson every few years. 

Generally I like my computer. I like it will check my spelling, make editing a breeze compared to even my fancy self-correcting Selectric typewriterI also love having so much information at my fingertips, and getting to know people online I would have met no other way.

I think my computers know I like them. I seem to have fewer problems than many people.

And it certainly isn’t the computer’s fault that I didn’t renew my cloud backup!

Don’t panic!

Of course, once you discover your document is well and truly gone, the key is not to panic. Or at least not for long. I’ve found over time that my mind retains more about what I wrote that is missing than I expect. It’s always easier and faster to generate the lost document from scratch than it was to write it in the first place.

Our minds are truly marvelous.

So that’s what I did. I accepted it was gone – yes, I could have hired a true geek and maybe gotten it back, but that would have been expensive, might not of work, and would have delayed me even more.

In truth, it didn’t take too long to research and rewrite what went missing. My hunch is it’s better the second time around.

It helps to know too that this loss seems to happen to every writer once in awhile.

Tell us the story of how you lost an important piece of writing. And what you did about it.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Always best to back up a word file under a different file name. That way if the file becomes corrupted you’ve always got a backed up version.
    If you upload an article to wordpress and for some reason it goes missing one way of getting the article back is to copy the cached version, assuming google has indexed it.

    • Of course it is Simon and I’ve been known to say exactly the same thing. 😉

  • That is unfortunate. I’m not if I have had any experience like that. I use WordPress and I write directly in WordPress. 🙂
    Odira Ndubuisi recently posted..InnJoo 4: What to Expect (Features Review)My Profile

    • I do to, Odiara, write directly into WordPress – the lost article wasn’t a blog post but an assignment. I did get it done.

  • Gordon

    Dear Anne, I just looked under the desk to see if you were there since you weren’t behind me. This is uncanny.
    MS-Word just ate my five page blog, I tried frantically to rescue the document; perhaps to salvage a few hundred words.
    Experience taught me to save every change to a thumb-drive, just in case of such an event. Those times when I did nothing ever happened; so I took a chance.
    Should have known better. I have one daughter, she is a constant reminder that I shouldn’t take chances.
    If my rewrite turns out like her it will be good.

    • The problem I have with trying to save every change, if you mean that literally, is it distracts me from the writing… if you mean every version… you have a point. Sounds like your daughter has a good father!

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