This really hit home, the above leopard writing meme picture. I posted it to tumblr (from a reblog) but it deserves a place here as well, because there’s an interesting story that happened to me while writing the first book of Black Mask & Pale Rider.
I had just started the sequence with Pania and Martin Derringer, about to enter a dreamwalk. Shani had just been captured by the Huntsman, the mythical creature who is mentioned in so many different cultures and sometimes is want to steal souls (and sometimes, acts like Marvel Comic’s Ghost Rider). I had written the complete dreamwalk with Derringer taking Pania back through his memory so she could see his own early encounter with the Huntsman. Pania also discovers that Martin Derringer is really Thadius Maximus, a former tribune with the Roman Army and a werewolf.
I had just finished writing the scene where Pania wakes from the dream, horrified that she’s in the same room with a werewolf. And I don’t know what happened, but the next day when I went back to continue on from that point, when I opened the file everything was gone. The dreamwalk, Pania’s reaction, Derringer’s outing as a werewolf. From the point where Shani had been taken prisoner to the point I had finished, which was a good 2500 to 4000 words, was gone. Even the backup on a flashdrive was gone. All of that writing was gone. My one saving grace was after I wrote that, I posted it to a forum so others could keep up with the story that might not be able to download the pdf file. Fortunately it was all there.
But my god, my whole reaction to that was complete and utter dejection. I had suddenly lost the will to write, all because a huge swath of my story was gone. Fortunately, I did manage to get my head on straight, copy and paste the post from the forum and continue on for about 500 words, but I was totally drained thanks to that ordeal.