This week was back to fiction time, a habit I’m trying to get into. Using the  Pomodoro Technique, where you work for 20 minutes and then take 5 minutes off, I’m trying to make jumping back into fiction writing less scary. Well, scary speaking from an imposter syndrome point of view.

 

My first day has been rough. I put intensive thinking and planning to get ready for the writing part of my day. Everything was set. The kids were at school; I had a day off; the horses and cats were cared for and resting. I opened Scrivener to the right file, Rock Hopper 2. Working through the first chapter’s edit was easy. The second chapter made me wonder about something, so I went to check the story bible. But it was missing! No problem. The story bible had been in my Rock Hopper 1 Scrivener file. I could update it for the second book, which was originally the third act of the first book anyway.

Opening the old file took little effort. “La-di-dah! I’m going to write, and this is awesome.”

But lo! The Scrivener file was from January 2017.

Don’t panic. I have a backup. The backup was made yesterday because I’m so diligent. Obviously it didn’t have the new snapshots from October or any of the changes that I’d made after the wonderful editor had returned the Word doc to me.

 

Ok. Panic a little.

 

Fortunately, I have live-in tech help who, after I spent forty-five minutes stubbornly trying to solve the problem myself, found out how to restore an old file. If you use Scrivener, know that the program only keeps 5 previous saves and then deletes. I had opened instance 6.

All is restored now and the last half year of work was not lost. I learned a lot. First, my file hierarchy is a mess. I had instances on two different machines and only one backed up. That one that didn’t back up? It was a four month out of date cone of my laptop! And within my files I had partial copies that had been sent to beta readers and alpha readers, partial edited works that needed double checked against and files called “Things I should Remember” and “What if?”

So my big take away from today and a couple hours of panic:

  • Keep the most updated version prominent.

  • Keep the story bible separate.

  • Scrivener’s snapshots did not save forward – they are lost forever.

  • Organize as though your life depends on it and do not rely on software to keep your backup.

Keep your files safe!

  • Keep the most updated version prominent.
  • Keep the story bible separate.
  • Scrivener’s snapshots did not save forward – they are lost forever.
  • Organize as though your life depends on it and do not rely on software to keep your backup.