Friday, 14 January 2011

Losing Written Documents

For some reason I quite like writing short pieces on a document app on my iPhone, be they blog posts, short fiction or chapters for my novel. This probably works for me as I tend to get ideas just as I'm about to go to sleep which ends in me sitting bolt upright and switching lights on, much to the annoyance of my other half who now just grunts at me and rolls over. 

I recently got onto a bit of a roll and had several blog posts written up and ready to be posted at regular intervals. I also wrote five chapters for my book this way and put some ideas down for shorts. 

For some strange reason I sent the novel chapters to google docs so I still had them if anything happened to my phone, but I didn't do the same for my blog posts. Then something did happen to my phone, I happened to my phone! 

I decided to buy the paid document app that I was using for writing. After I did this, I got a little giddy and tidied up my apps and deleted the free version as I didn't need two versions of the same app clogging up my phone. 

It wasn't until a couple of days later when I looked to post a blog post that I realised I'd deleted it! A week later and I'm still so furious with myself. Ive synched the app back onto my phone, but all that was on it is lost forever. 

It now feels as though I have to write on my blog from scratch and it feels mountainous. I know I will get in my stride again, but that's why the blog has been quiet for a week. 

One lesson I have now learnt, along with putting enough postage on competition entry envelopes, is store written work in more than one place! (It would seem this blog is a list of what not to do's) 

What have you done that you have completely given yourself a hard time over?


  1. I can sympathize. I lost 12 chapters of a novel once due to hitting the wrong button three times in a row. I moped for days. Nothing for it, though, except to learn from our mistakes. I now use MozyHome to backup and I keep everything synced to two computers using DropBox.

    What writing app do you use on the iPhone? I've been looking for one.

  2. It's an awful feeling isn't it. Temporarily like the bottom fell out of your world, which it did, your writing world. I needed to write that post just so that I had something as I was quite disheartened.

    I use an app simply called "documents" it's simple, does what I need and has a button to upload to google docs. Just not sure why I didn't place the same sense of importance to the blog posts and shorts as I did the novel chapters.

    A lesson learned.

  3. I did that once with a story. I had a thumb drive and was going to put the updated version on the thumb drive but instead copied the old version over the new. I opened the doc. later and was so confused and mad! Now I'm super careful about it, double checking both files (sometimes three, I use drop box to have another back up accessible from any computer!)
    I'm also like you as in I bolt up when I'm trying to sleep with a great idea or scene and grab my phone for notes.

  4. I'm always worried this will happen to me. I save stuff to my google docs, flash drive, and computer.

    Google Docs may not be the safest place to store stuff (because it could be hacked), but it would suck if there was a fire and my flash drive and computer got destroyed.

  5. Omigoodness, no . . . You too? I just lost documents this week, too. :( The whole end (like 20K of my current novel. When I "saved" it reverted to an old version for no reason. And the copy I backed up everywhere, plus sent to myself at gmail. Oh yeah, you're right: the updated SCREWED version. I have almost recovered . . . well, not really. But suffice it to say, you really, really, really have my sympathy.

    *I haven't even been able to blog about. 8-S

  6. I deleted the entire contents of my mobile phone diary (a.k.a. my brain). Awful!

  7. Patricia - It's great to know I'm not the only one jumping up in bed! I am also now quite particular about making sure my work is saved in more than one place.

    Austin - I had wondered about the security of google docs. I have tried drop box but I can't drop documents into the box from my iphone, I can only open them on it. It's a lesson learned about having items saved in more than one place.

    Ev - 20K!!! Oh my, I'm not sure I would recover emotionally from that! I'm so sorry you lost so much. It really is a blow losing work isn't it? I hope you're OK.

    Denyse -It's not good is it!