Writing through the Computer Crashes

writing through computer crashes author samantha eklund

Zombies are gnashing their teeth. People are screaming. Guns are firing. Chaos is about to ensue!

Then my computer crashes.

Son of a ----!

When was the last time I saved? Will Word do its fancy little thing with auto save? Can I ever think of the same words again? What if I can't? Is my whole book ruined?!?!

One of my favorite quotes is "no tears from the author, no tears from the reader." Well typically my tears come from what's happening in the story, not outside of it. (I guess no panic from the author, no panic from the reader either!)

Sometimes life throws frustrations at us. Some are small like a randomly crashing computer, some are larger. Sometimes they're severe and go way beyond a few lost sentences or paragraphs.

In these moments, I think we're being tested. Whether you believe in God, the universe, or something else, I think we can all agree that we get tested from time to time. It's not the disappointments or challenges that really matter; it's what we do with them. When something unexpected or unwanted prompts our rage to flare, do we hulk up and smash our forehead across the keyboard and woefully scream, "Whyyy meee?!?" Or do we CTFO and assess the reality of the situation?

Usually if you're the one inside the event, it feels way worse than it is. If something bad happens, calm down your pretty self. Emotions get us into so much trouble, don't they? Use your wonderful God-given logic and look at the reality of what has happened. Most the time it's not that bad!

For example: my computer blue-screening amidst a zombierific and ghastly scene. It sure feels bad in the moment! As I stare at the evil blue screen that has just wrenched away my soul, I clutch my chest and keel over. I slide off my chair and hit the floor with a thump, wondering how life ever ended this way.

Ok, that never really happened. But for reals; in the moment when you've suddenly lost what's important to you, it sure feels like you lost a piece of you. What to do about it? I'd recommend the same thing I tell myself: Suck it up, Buttercup!

So you lost a few sentences. You think you're an author, right? Then just rewrite the scene. Most of the time, doing so produces something better than the original. Since you call yourself a writer, act like one and just recraft what you lost. There you go Buttercup!

What about you? When disaster (or not-so-disaster) strikes, how do you respond?