What’s a writer’s worst nightmare?
To develop a block in the middle of a book?
To see his creation getting all the negative reviews and none of the positive?
To not find any reader interested to read his work?
To see a long career reach an end when a new idea for a new book refuses to come?
They’re all a nightmare, yes, but they aren’t my worst. Not this time around, anyway.
I experienced my worst nightmare two nights ago.
I have two laptops. One, a very old one, the one I learned to use with the assistive software, aka screen, I use to read and write. It has functions that I like to use when I write that the new screen reader on the new laptop doesn’t have.
That old laptop is really old. Not just the model, but the programming as well. Now, you may think, just upgrade the program, and that would work for most everyone. Except I can’t upgrade the screen reader on it because it wasn’t the original download. And if I upgrade the rest of the programs, the screen reader will stop working.
I have another laptop with another kind of screen reader. It’s good, and it’s the newest version. But this new program doesn’t have all the features that that old program has. (And that old program is very expensive- while the new one can be downloaded for free)
Because the internet on that old laptop is very slow, when I need a file from it, I use a flash memory. Now, I’m really careful with my books, so I keep saving the file on to the memory drive, then copy pasting it to this laptop, then attaching it to e-mails that I send to myself.
But about a month ago, the flash memory I use disappeared. So I got a new one, but the laptop refused to acknowledge it. Something about new drive and tech stuff I can’t understand. As I was already revising the second book in the Roxanne Fosch series, Heir of Doom, I continued revising, with my brother’s promise that he’d take a look at it.
And two nights ago, after I finished the revision and started running the spell check for the last time so I can finally get the book out to the betas… the laptop died on me.
I was desperate enough to have my brother looking at it in the middle of the night. Ok, it was eleven pm, but because the screen on that laptop was broken (I don’t need a screen, remember, I’m blind) he’d needed to add an external screen to see what was going on. But it turned out that the laptop not only wasn’t taking a new flash memory, it wasn’t accepting any external drives.
So I went to bed at two in the morning, and I tossed and turned and wondered if my brother would be able to get the file for me.
But in the morning, while I was checking my e-mail on my new laptop *hmmm, coughs* (three ears isn’t old, right) I found an e-mail from my brother. With my manuscript attached.
I almost cried with relief.
He had to take the old laptop apart and plug the hard disk to another computer, where he was able to extricate all the files I had on that old laptop.
So what’s a writer’s worst nightmare?
For me, it’s to finish a book and then not be able to get to it.