Sunday, September 20, 2009

Losing my words

A little over a week ago my PC got a virus which resulted in my system crashing. Off to the tech guru it went with my hopes for a miracle. The good news is that I'll be getting it back in a few days. The bad news is that I lost everything on it. Since I do back up, I wasn't that devastated.
I got the daughter's laptop replaced and have been using it for the last couple of days until I can get it to her. The other night I pulled out The CD, the one that had the backup copy of the book I've been working on for four years. It held 246 pages of well, I can't really say. The CD was blank. I went through all of my CDs. The book was just simply no longer there.

Simply, this bites. It chomped down hard -- pit bull hard.

After shocking the cats and possibly scaring the neighbors with a few choice words at exquisite volume, I just had to cry.

I've been working to let it go since then. I have my handwritten notes, and one day when I have the heart for it, I may go back to it again. The main thing is that I've still picked up my pen and written something every day. I've got an idea brewing for a different book, possibly just a long short story, but it keeps getting more and more complicated. The ideas behind it also scare me, and that can be a good sign when I'm trying to write.

So here, I am, trying to con myself again with the bullshit that all things happen for a reason, but I simply refuse to give up. Some one with good intentions but little tact recently tried to prod me into new endeavors by asking how I could call myself a writer when I haven't been published (not counting grants and marketing stuff) in years (okay, decades). Her intention was to motivate me into finding paying work that aligned with my identity, a good and noble goal as well as one of my aspirations.

Being a little offended and more comfortable with my anger than I have been in ages, I didn't answer her well. I still can't, except for this. Writing is more than something I do. It's part of who I am and how I process the world. I'm not a successful writer. I have so much to learn about the business of writing that it intimidates me sometimes. I may not even be a good writer, but I am a writer.


Blogger Nelle said...

I have never lost anything I have written but I have lost pictures that could never be replaced. We finally got a back up HARD DRIVE. I learned from several people NOT to store this with your computer. If a thief steals your computer, they will also want that. We got ours used but I highly recommend that over a disc. Sorry this happened.

September 20, 2009 2:45 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I WON'T say that all things happen for a reason. Even if they do, it doesn't mean it doesn't suck.

I WILL say that people (who I wouldn't call friends) who ask things like "How can you call yourself a writer if you haven't been published?" are pompous assholes of the highest order and ought to be staked out naked in the desert with nothing but their published works to keep the sun from turning them to giant smoldering raisins.

Honestly! :P

September 20, 2009 3:25 PM  
Blogger emmapeelDallas said...

Cyn, you are a terrific writer and a successful writer! After all, you have a READERSHIP whom I count myself among who look forward, always, to reading what you've written, which is more than I can say for some published writers. Sheesh!

September 20, 2009 8:22 PM  
Blogger emmapeelDallas said...

p.s. - I am SO sorry about the lost book, though. That bites bigtime.

September 20, 2009 8:22 PM  
Blogger Gannet Girl said...

There's no question that you're a writer!

The lost book -- that's devastating. Here's to a rewrite that pulls together the old and the new into something spectacular.

Now . . . if you sent sections to your friends to read, it would be saved as email attachments....

September 21, 2009 7:37 AM  
Blogger wenda said...

How can you call yourself a writer? How can I call myself a writer? How can any of us call ourselves writers?

A good question perhaps for self reflection and for writing about, but one that would leave me feeling criticized and defensive if someone asked it of me.

I think that losing the 246 pages of a book you've been working on for four years certainly qualifies you as a writer, but I don't think you need to be qualified as a writer.

You've said it best: "Writing is more than something I do. It's part of who I am and how I process the world."

September 28, 2009 12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In no uncertain terms. You are a writer. A year and 1/2 ago I googled crazy quilts for quilting inspiration and came across your blog. I was hooked. Way hooked. Looking several times a day hooked, then somehow I lost you.... and had to convince myself not to fall into depression because I missed how reading your blog made me feel not so alone. You see almost 4 years ago I lost my best friend on her 40th birthday. She was the victim of surgery gone horribly wrong... and you articlated so much of what I felt, once again alone in the world. You are a writer. You change the lives, the thoughts, the actions of those who read your blog, and that, by definition is what true writing does.
Mary Beth

September 28, 2009 6:53 AM  

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