I’ve spent the last two weeks without a computer. And I lived to tell the tale.
One morning my cherished MacBook Pro would not wake up. I took it into the local Apple retailer and they confirmed that the hard drive had committed ritual hara-kiri the previous evening. Luckily all of my law firm documents and my novel-in-progress were backed up to dropbox – this at least prevented me from bursting into tears on the spot. But it was massively inconvenient, all the same, not least because this month has been insanely busy at work with clients wanting to make the most of inheritance tax loopholes before the country takes a massive swan-dive off the edge of this fiscal cliff. I muddled through until Christmas using two old computers, my iPad, and a box of colored rubber bands. All a little Heath-Robinson, and occasionally infuriating, but what needed to get done got done. I’ve actually been too busy with law stuff to write a word of my book.
Then last night I got my machine back. The shop had proudly told me that they had managed to recover everything they needed from the little white box that sits in the basement of my house, so I was looking forward to business as usual. Only when I turned it on did I realize that they have replaced my laptop’s hard drive with that on my Mac Mini, which I use only for playing music. Gliding smoothly over the gross negligence and mind-boggling stupidity of this, I have spent much of my waking hours since then trying to reconstitute my computer as I knew it. I have had to sync stuff, re-boot things, re-install software, you name it. Things are more or less back to normal, but I have lost thousands of photographs, even more emails, and many, many documents.
But here’s the thing. This is all highly aggravating, but I’m still here. I didn’t lose a word of the new book, and I have the tools I need to sit down again and write. And that, in the end, is really what matters.
I am off to snowy Maine tomorrow (in actuality, not merely in my imagination!) where we will spend four days in a small cabin by the sea. I am going to read a lot, and write a lot, and go for long walks on the beach in the snow. I am hoping to find inspiration and a renewed energy to launch myself back into this novel. The paperback of A GOOD AMERICAN is coming out in February, and I’ll be posting here about events for that in due course. In the meantime, my best wishes to you all for a peaceful and happy new year.
A lawyer friend who is heavily into a paperless office convinced me to finally go with Dropbox, and I am glad he did. I had a computer die on me a little over a year ago, but writing and other things were safe. The thought of losing writing is terrifying, so I’m glad all is safe with work files and your novel-in-progress! And…have fun in Maine; I hope it’s productive and good research for the next book!
Whenever we went away on holiday I was always more concerned with protecting my computer than anything else. All our stuff could be replaced; the words could not. Having dropbox has caused a significant improvement in my anxiety levels. Well. By that I mean I have now have room for other things to worry about.