The fear of the white page is talked about often by writers. The fear conjured by sitting in front of a blank sheet of paper/screen, attempting to conjure something out of nothing is likely to be a familiar tale to anyone who has read about writers.
For me, there is a greater fear: the fear of re-confronting the white page; the loss of what you have written and having reconstruct what you have already created. The wasted effort. The need to dredge from memory everything that you’ve done, hoping that you can at least recapture some of what you’ve lost.
You’d think then that I would be more careful about making backups. Apparently not.
So when I tried logging into my laptop last Wednesday and discovered that my keyboard wasn’t working, panic began to set in as I realised that I hadn’t made a back up for a month.
Fortunately, thanks to a Bluetooth mouse I had laying around, I was able to get the keyboard working again and was able to make a backup.
For a day at least.
The next day the same problem occurred, and my fix from the previous day didn’t work, leading to a milder panic that I might have lost the 800 or so words I’d written the previous day. Fortunately, a quick purchase of a Bluetooth keyboard allowed me to make another back up.
For the short period before I got the Bluetooth keyboard, in an attempt to keep on writing The Vasini Chronicles II, I found myself without notes trying to remember where I was and what was going to happen next, and writing longhand with pad and pencil for the first time in several years.
Anyway, the laptop has now been fixed and everything seems to be working fine with no data loss. Panic over.
As a result of all of this – as well as promising myself I’ll make back ups more often – I’m now using the Scrivener app on my laptop and iPad, which should at least mean that I can continue writing, to some degree, without interruption should this happen again.
Although all of this has been delaying me finishing the first draft of The Vasini Chronicles II, it shouldn’t impact the publication of A Divided River, the first Tales from Vasini volume, which should still appear over the summer.
In the end, I’m just grateful that I have the flexibility in my life at the moment to deal with this sort of – in the scheme of things – minor nonsense without it becoming anything more than a frustration.