Eulogy for an Accidentally Deleted Story

What does it mean when you’re relieved when you lose a story? When it’s just too much to contemplate reading it again? Let alone editing it? I find I had a hard time dealing with some of my darker predictions. They seemed like simple math, a tale born of the inevitable. Does it mean that I dread the future, because it will be too terrible to want to see? Will people born after now see it as the ordinary, the unexpected? Would that be better or worse?

What does it mean if you’re relieved that you’ve lost a story? When you dreaded having to fix what went wrong with it? You’re glad it’s gone; you won’t make an effort to get it back? You’ made all the decent efforts, but what it comes down to was rewriting the whole damned thing? And you won’t, no matter how many people, inside and out, tell you to do it?

Does it mean you’ve given up?

I did it. I accidentally deleted the draft of a story, then (later) thoughtfully ran Crap Cleaner and deleted my trash before I mailed emailed myself the draft. I have three copies of an empty folder for backup. It’s gone.

Goodbye, story. Like an angry teenager writing bad poetry in a revealing, tacky lace blouse, you were up to no good. But this wasn’t what you deserved.

2 comments

  1. I did that once. I was about halfway through a story that was sort of giving me fits. It was on my AlphaSmart Neo, my portable word processor. In the process of transferring files back and forth, I accidentally overwrote it with another file. Gone for good. I try telling myself it wasn’t meant to be. But sometimes I wonder…

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