For those who watch Bob Ross’ show – The Joy of Painting on PBS and YouTube, you know his signature saying – “Happy little accidents.” Such a thing happens to me a lot, but in my novel writing.
Currently, I’ve gone through a bout of happy little accidents since 1996 and just late last night I stumbled upon another. Happy little accidents for me as a writer can work like this –
- Not saving the file I’m working on and the computer glitches to where that section is gone.
- The whole manuscript (my very first manuscript actually) saved on an old hard floppy disc from 1996 and the whole file is corrupted and disappears cause of technology upgrades or that it’s pointless to try retrieving the file. (Side note: the original first manuscript was printed before it died in hard disc)
- The printed prologue rewrite is missing some pages and I can’t reprint the missing 5 pages cause the original file is gone due to a virus that also killed the computer.
- Your favorite laptop dies, but you were lucky to transfer everything over onto thumb drives three months in advance, but you may have still lost some original chapters, but that’s okay because….Happy little accidents.
- Brooding about the chapter I wrote for weeks and then wanting to rewrite, but that file isn’t on the main computer cause I forgot to transfer it from the laptop so I have to start from scratch.
Now, once I’ve realized that chapter is gone I happily start from scratch, believe it or not. I don’t brood about it any further like I had before when working on that chapter. I lose precious time if I fuss over a lost file that is only 5 to 15 pages long. Don’t get me wrong though, if I’ve lost a total 300pg manuscript, oh you bet I’d be upset.
When I originally lost my first manuscript of 370 pages from the hard disc floppy and then the continuation of it on the desktop computer years ago, I was in such a panic that I had a hard time sleeping. It would usually take me a few weeks to almost a month to get over the shock, but I got over it in good time. Thankfully, I still have the printed version in a red hard bound binder, including half of the prologue pages.
What did I learn from these happy accidents exactly? I learned that starting over is a blessing. That there are reasons to the world that if something is not meant to be, it is not mean to be, period. Writers, just like painters and other artists out there, we are creators. If we lose a creation, that does not mean we’ve lost the ability to create. Therefore we can continue to create even if we start from scratch.
To close, sorry for the long winded time of not posting anything on my journal. The hot summer has kept me from wanting to do much of anything. I’ve barely worked on my third manuscript and once this entry is done, I’m back in the saddle again to start chapter 12 over from scratch.
Thanks for reading. Hope this helps anyone.