Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When You'd Do Anything to Get Back on a Plateau

We've been discussing plateaus this month, and we've focused on continuing upward. But something happened on Monday that made me long for the comfort of my own plateau.

My laptop crashed. I'm talking completely shut-down. Luckily, I was able to restore it back to the manufacturer's settings, but in the process I lost every program, every blog I've bookmarked in my Favorites bar, and yes, every plotting note of my new book plus the first three chapters.

Normally, I'm obsessive about backing up my daily work to a memory stick, but I neglected the task for two weeks.

I would love to be back on the plateau I reached last Friday.

Sometimes things go wrong. Who knows why. Yes, I could pay a service to attempt to retrieve my files from the hard drive, but the costly and time-consuming job is not worth it to me. I can reproduce the work in less time.

It's natural to be upset when a strong gust of wind blows you from your plateau. I spent a full day restoring my laptop, and I was not in a good mood while I did it. But Tuesday dawned, and it no longer felt as important. In fact, the process of having a clean laptop has forced me to re-evaluate how I was approaching a few tasks.

I found Microsoft One Note and plan on trying it out for my plotting notes. The blogs linked in my Favorites bar? Well, it's high time I organize them in Google Reader. One of my goals is to spend more time reading blogs, and this will streamline it. And I finally signed up for an online data back-up service. I don't have to worry about losing important work again.

So when your progress gets thrown off a cliff, go ahead and fume for a little while, but then study the path back up. You might find a better foothold the next time.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!


  1. Oh, Jill! I'm so sorry! I'm going to get my thumb drive right now.

  2. Jill, I also use Office Skydrive to back up files. It's free. OneNote is great.

  3. Hi Jill, sounds like you are moving on from the crash. Good for you! Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Good morning!

    Heather: Yes, go get it! Trust me!

    CJ: Cool! I'll make a note of it, and I'm looking forward to playing around in OneNote. Thanks!

    Paul: Thanks! No sense in wasting energy on something I have no control over, right? Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. Yup, sometimes it takes a disaster to rebuild a better structure! Happy to hear you saw the blessings in a 'crash.'

  6. How frustrating!!

    I currently in writing limbo, and my sister suggested I think about all the things I can do right now because of this: spend more time with my family, catch up on reading, work on some tasks around the house. Gives me a bit of perspective.

  7. Jill, I'm so sorry you suffered the loss of all that data, but I admire your positive attitude.

  8. Jill, I use Dropbox. I wrote a post about it here:

    Because this happened to me once upon a time.

  9. What a bummer! I send all my writing stuff to 2 different email addresses, just in case one of them should crash. :)

  10. Jill:
    Six months after we bought my first computer, I opened an email that I shouldn't have. My computer crashed and I couldn't get any help from the manufacturer or my ISP. I was four days getting it back up. My computer teacher had a tool she downloaded for me. I learned a few lessons from that experience. One was patience.

  11. Hey Jill,
    First, I love your new profile pic! Very pretty. :)
    Second, what a nightmare! I'm so glad you knew how to restore things. I don't think I would. :-( You have a great attitude about it though. I hope all your streamlining makes things easier.
    I need to learn how to use OneNote. I don't even know what it's for. LOL

  12. Lynn: Everything but losing the book was a blessing! And I only lost about 30 pages, so I can't complain too much.

    Caroline: Ooo, lists! Can I add one? Do something you've wanted to but never got around to it, like visiting that cute town thirty minutes away!

    Keli: The experience forced me to tackle things I never made time for. I'm feeling empowered!

    Michelle: Thanks! With so many back-up choices, it's great to hear what works and doesn't.

    Sarah: Smart move! You'll be so glad you did if you ever have a crash!

    Quiet Spirit: Patience. Yes. I need more of that!

    Jessica: Thank you! I didn't know what it was either, but when I re-installed Microsoft Office, it was there and I decided to check it out. It's like a Trapper Keeper for your computer. If you like to organize files and notes on your computer, it's a great program. I just made a notebook for the book I lost, and I'm keeping my plotting notes, writing log, research notes/links, and scene list in one. I like it because you can easily copy and paste something online to your notebook, including pictures and hyperlinks. Perfect for research!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  13. Long ago, on my father's old Compaq computer, long before Windows, I would occasionally lose pages and pages of my writing. It was devastating. But even more so for my mother, who was a feature writer for the local newspaper. She would lose entire stories sometimes. So I know how frustrating it is! So, so sorry this happened.

    But you're right - after you fume a bit (which I think is a necessity!), it doesn't look so bad in the morning. :-)

  14. So THAT'S why you haven't visited me lately:)

    You are one tough woman and remind me of Christ's LOVE of the "P" word.

    You got it, girl.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  15. Ouch, ouch, ouch.
    My heart goes out to you Jill:(
    And my fingers rush to back up all my work!

  16. Jill, you have a beautiful attitude about something that would plunge us into despair. I'm so glad you got things working again, but I'm sorry to hear about the lost material.

    I'm paranoid about this. We have time machine on our mac and that backs up to an external hard drive. And I pay an annual fee for If the time comes, and I hope it doesn't, I hope these tricks will do what they're supposed to do!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  17. Hi Jill -

    Oh, no! Computer problems are awful.

    I'd better go back-up mine.

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Susan :)

  18. Agghh. I can only imagine the angst of having your computer crash. Love your positive looking attitude though.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. Melissa: That's another thing to be thankful for--advanced technology! It's simple to create back-ups now, as opposed to when your mom was a journalist. Thanks!

    Patti: Ha! You're not the only one I haven't checked in with! I miss catching up with everyone. :)

    Donna: Oh, thanks!

    Julie: You've got it covered! I wouldn't worry about losing anything. :)

    Susan: Go back it up!

    Linda: I've had crashes before, but I've never lost anything important. This one was painful!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  20. I'm so sorry you lost all that work! Your outlook on it though is very positive. all the very best replacing all that writing :)

    Happy thanksgiving.

  21. That's awful. I'm going to back everything up right now. I'm going to look into that online data back up service.

  22. I'm sorry that happened, I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  23. Tabitha: I'm excited about trying the new program. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Patti: Do. That's all I can say. I'd thought about getting online backup many times and never got around to it. Well, I got around to it!

    Tyrean: Thank you! Hope you do too!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  24. I feel for you! Oh, the pain of a computer crash and losing anything. Happened to me earlier this year and I now subscribe to Carbonite, which backs up everything I want it to automatically. I see others have recommended some services too. You'll sleep better knowing these are in place.
    In the meantime, your blog is really helpful to writers, a ton of information. I appreciate all the work that has gone into writing and sharing this information with others. Thank you.


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