Last night I sat down and wrote my usual Sunday post. Unfortunately it somehow got lost. Yes it just upped and disappeared. Now that is so frustrating! I had that happen to me with my old computer which had no automatic save on Word. I’d spend hours writing, only to have the message ‘Microsoft has encountered a problem and needs to close’ appear with the helpful addition of ‘any work you may have been doing may be lost’. Maybe? The screen was locked, it wasn’t maybe, it was very very definite! It was as if some nasty gremlin had been spying on me, waiting for the moment when I’d completed several more pages of my book, before deciding to totally wreck my day. In a moment two hours of work disappeared completely from the screen. As soon as that happened I knew my computer’s days were numbered, that I needed a more reliable machine. I guess I’ve become really complascent with my new all singing all dancing PC and on reflection think the fault was probably mine (end of a busy day, fingers too quick on the keyboard, rushing to get it done etc) and there were no gremlins lurking. After an initial ‘Oh No’ I decided to take the philosopical route about the whole thing. After all, losing a blog post wasn’t half as bad as losing an afternoon’s work on my manuscript.
So what was I writing about? Well to kick off the post I was reflecting on how keeping e-mails down took up so much of my time. The problem primarily exists because of Facebook and Twitter, without them my e-mails are quite manageable. However, if I go a day without looking at them I can guarantee I’ll have seventy plus nestling in my In Box waiting to be responded to. Many of them aren’t direct messages to me but those that do have to have a response. There is no easy way out of this and as I’m going away this week know I will have three days’ worth when I get back – a scary prospect! I likened myself to King Canute trying to keep the sea back, it’s an impossible task but on reflection I guess it’s a necessary one as I’m a writer and need to keep in touch with everyone, and my writing friends do outnumber the social ones.
I had a really busy day yesterday. My Sundays are usually leisurely and quiet but this was a sort of payback for spending most of Saturday in town shopping and having lunch with one of my best friends. I tend to do this on occasions without thinking about the consequences of pressures the next day. And this time round it meant Sunday would be cleaning, ironing, cooking, answering e-mails, writing my blog, providing a 250 word piece for my writing group’s Birthday and also a post for their website. Piece of cake I convinced myself and then found I didn’t actually get in front of the PC until 8pm with only an hour before one of my favourite programmes started. Well, sometimes things are heaven-sent. I sorted the e-mails fairly quickly (I’d looked at some of them while the lunch was cooking); the 250 word piece just materialised out of nowhere and with a few tweaks was completed. The piece for the website was 2/3rds done and again was completed with ease. Then for the blog. I was a few sentence in when I got a phone call. That lasted 15 precious minutes but it was from a friend who has just come over from Oz for a month and wanted just a little chat and a date when we could meet for lunch. It was so good to hear from her that I decided the time lost was worth it. Off I went on the blog again and before I knew where I was it was 8.50. Then just as I went to save, a Paul Daniels moment – it was there, then it wasn’t. Witchcraft? Sleight of hand? All I know is that suddenly I was looking at an empty screen. If I’d taken myself back to my old computer days I would have been totally heartbroken, but hey! having experienced some pretty angry moments with that old computer when I’d lost valuable manuscript time, I knew in the great scheme of things a blog was nothing, it could be rewritten and I’ve done it haven’t I? And here it is, a day late but pretty much the same content, so no problem!