I lost half an hour's work today thanks to a blackout. It was good work too. That hurts. I was using dictation software, the latest and last version of DragonDictate (they’re no longer updating the software for Mac OS). This meant I was dictating into the program's own scratchpad. I can explain why, but it would be long and boring. Just trust me when I say, I had no choice.
The thing about the scratchpad? It is a creature of the pure moment. It's not stored anywhere. Not even in RAM. If you lose it, it is gone forever.
I knew as soon as the screen turned black what’d happened. It's winter here. There are teens in the house, lots of heaters running, kettles boiling for tea and coffee and hot chocolate, there are muffins and brownies baking in the oven, and sometimes it all just gets a bit much and the electrical system throws up its hands and goes, "Yeah, nah, I'm out."
As soon as that screen went black, I knew.
It was super fucking annoying because I really had to muscle my way through the first couple of pages today. I wrote about 1300 words in two hours. The section I lost was the first time I really felt the story beginning to speed away under its own power.
Rather than trying to recreate it immediately, I stepped away from the computer and had lunch. I could tell my frustration was going to slow me down even more.
Better to just take a break, make a toasted sandwich, smoked salmon and Philadelphia cream cheese if you're wondering, have a coffee, and come back to it later.
One thing I did resolve; in future I won't be tempted to dictate a thousand words or more into the scratchpad. I'll transfer it over after two or three hundred words at most. That way when I lose copy again, and it will happen, it won't feel like such a kick in the guts.
In the end, I still logged 3000+ words for the day.
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