Menu Close

A Writer’s Worst Nightmare

As I mentioned in my last blog post, titled, Well, I Finally Did It, I managed to fill the internal hard drive on my old Macbook Pro. It only had 512 gigabytes of storage. I’m sure for most writers it would be more than enough. However, I’m not most writers. I’m also a photographer who used to produce book trailer videos, back in the day. This means I have a lot of big files. Really big files. Yes, I have an external hard drive. I use for storing old, achieved files, but it wasn’t enough. It was time to buy a new computer.

And So the Nightmare Begins

Setting up a new computer takes a lot of time. You have to download new software and migrate data files. However, I managed to get it done, and I was soon ready to go back to work. Little did I know things were about to go terribly wrong.

Writing a book is easy. Promoting a book is hard. I was posting some information about one of my contemporary romance novels on a third party website when the trouble began. They needed a description of the book, so I tried to open the Word file. It wouldn’t open. It was damaged, and Word couldn’t repair it. Then I tried to open the backup file on my external drive. It too was damaged.

I soon discovered that nearly half the files in the folder were damaged, including the original manuscript. So I fired up my backup computer. Once again, I found the same damaged files. I use a third party offsite backup, but it too had backed up the damaged files. 

It was a Catastrophic Loss

It takes a year, sometimes longer, for me to write my romance novels, and I put my heart and soul into each and every one of them. The novel in question was published about eighteen months ago. However, my original manuscripts are very special to me, whether the work has been published or not. Losing my manuscript felt like being stabbed in the heart. 

The following day I stumbled on my editor’s file. It may have included all of her marks and notes, but it was a complete, workable file. I guess luck was on my side after all. I cleaned it up and saved it with a new name. A few days later I found out where the trouble had started. It originated on my old computer. An Apple tech support person had warned me that not having enough storage space could corrupt files, and by golly she was right. iCloud then migrated the damaged files to my other devices. 

Moving On

Bad things can and do happen. This is why I’ve always strived to do everything humanly possible to insure I had plenty of back up files, just in case something went wrong. Apparently, nothing is foolproof, even with offsite backup, so I’ve made some changes. I’m no longer synching my computers to iCloud. While I’ll miss the convenience, I’m much better off using a thumb drive to migrate files between computers because I can test the file before I migrate it. Hopefully, this will never happen again, but if it does, it won’t jump to another device. 

My manuscripts are my babies. It’s something that only a writer can understand. 

Marina Martindale


The author of this post is a real human being. Marina’s Journal does not include AI (Artificial Intelligence) generated content  of any kind. No part of this blog may be used or reproduced or transmitted in any form without the express written consent Good Oak Press, LLC. Requests for permission must be addressed to Good Oak Press, LLC, P.O. Box 51244, Denton, TX 76206-1244



Posted in Everything Else