Hi Jim,

I’m in a major bind… I was working on my latest piece. I’d been working on it for days and… forgot to save it. I was about 140 pages in and suddenly my computer blue-screened. I’ve lost everything and Word didn’t auto-save it. I’m not sure of what to do now. I feel like having to start from scratch is a fairly daunting task.
What should I do?


Hi Terry,

We’ve all been there. This is a mistake that we’ve all made at one point or another. I personally had to dodge being hit in the head by a laptop thrown by my roommate in college after his 20 page paper was lost when the same thing happened to him.

(Hehe… after writing multiple novels, thinking back on how tough we all used to think a typed 30 page, double spaced paper was… Oh man…)

Ahem… However, seriously Terry, 140 PAGES AND NOT ONE SAVE!? I’m sorry to say this, but you were really tempting fate more than any writer EVER should. Always save… ALWAYS! At minimum, save it at the end of every page, at minimum. Sorry to repeat myself, but it bears repeating.

Look, you’re going to have to. There really isn’t anything you can do. Think of it this way, you remember most of the story and can now really start to add meat to what you had already started on. Think of it as a chance to improve upon what you previously wrote.
Honestly, I myself have completely deleted and started stories over more than once when I didn’t think the story worked well, so it’s not unheard of and starting over is par for the course.

Anyway, that’s the best advice I can give you. Start over, good luck, and start saving!!!


Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

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Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!


7 Comments on “Just Start Over…

  1. Save to the Cloud, too. I had my computer stolen in Ecuador and would’ve been screwed if I hadn’t done that. There are enough free sites (Google Drive and iCloud) to use. Can’t recommend it enough.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, a backup on a second device is a good idea, cloud or USB stick or so (for when there is no internet). And maybe it’s handy to keep older versions in case you delete something and regret it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Not one save?! With programs like Google docs, there’s definitely no reason to get stuck in that situation, but I guess you live and learn. Great advice here, it’ll be daunting to start again, but if they hang in there it’ll probably turn out even better than the original 140 pages.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I agree, in that amount of time you can hit the save button at least once, but still, how depressing. My husband reformatted my USB one time and I lost everything on it.
    Luckily, I saved a copy to my laptop every few month at that time. But one particular story I’d done a lot of difficult work on and redoing it just wasn’t the same. I now do backups more often, but it’s a tough way to learn.
    Definitely suggest this guy makes an outline of what he remembers pronto! Sometimes it’s easier to do that and then work on one point at a time–makes the task less daunting.

    Liked by 1 person

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