TWO DAYS OF PANIC

spinning-beachball-of-death-mac
Sometimes things are just going too well. A few days ago my work was in full flow, Scrivener now an integrated part of my writing life and the proud bearer of my WIP.  

So, there I was happily working away one morning. I took a lunchtime break and since the sun had decided to take a peek at our part of the world I popped out for a walk with a friend. Once home I had a couple of hours before end of school so I happily returned to the computer. I was in such good spirits I might even have been humming a little tune.

With the screen up I double clicked on Scrivener and waited. And waited and waited. Nothing! Just a spinning of the rainbow coloured wheel. 

I didn’t panic  – as yet. Sometimes programmes won’t load the first time and I force quit and tried again. And again and again.

By now I was grinding my teeth and I felt the pressure increase with the onset of a stress headache.

Why is it we will not accept the inevitable?  After two hours of all different attempts I gave up. I was thoroughly dispirited by now. My cheerful songs of before replaced by a melancholic resignation. If I had to look at that ‘scrivener not responding’ comment once more I fear I might scream…or worse. I restrained myself and left my computer for a while.

Calmer, determined I returned and started the Google step – there is always Google involved, don’t you find? I hadn’t realised how vitriolic some people became on the process. There were some quite nasty (and at times personal) attacks as one person blamed computers, others the programme. Deflated I left the sites and went back to the manufacturer and easily found the email address to the tech team.

I  sent them quick note of my problem and operating system and I sat back pleased. Help would soon be on the way!

In my dreams!  An automatic reply said they were experiencing an unprecedented high number of problems and would reply in two days!! 

I closed everything down and turned off the computer.

The next day I of course couldn’t stop myself attempting to open the programme. Again and again. No luck.  

Over 80,000+ words of my WIP now seemed lost. As well as all my other projects and collections of work. To say I was by now feeling low would be an understatement.

At certain stages I had saved my whole draft in pages (Apple word processing programme) and even emailed an extra one to a friend for safe keeping. However all my latest changes were not included not.  More importantly all my ideas on cork board and side-notes on each chapter, plus notes and ideas for book two were inaccessible. 

Furthermore Scrivener had been so perfect for my working method, so automatic and exceptionally useful I couldn’t imagine starting over with a new programme.

By the afternoon my mood had dipped lower than ever. I do what I always do in such circumstances. Placing my documents in a large pile I started to clean. Always therapeutic. The house got cleaner, my mind became more cluttered and stressed.

Then late last night amongst the mass of emails was one unknown entity. I almost trashed it as spam until I spotted  a kind apology for my long wait and then a positive and calm ‘let’s get started’ sentence.

Still miffed I could not help but be reassured by the friendly professional tone of the email, the promise to get this sorted.

Three clear steps were listed for me to attempt first of all. Despite the late hour I just had to try and my Mac sang out as usual upon start. The steps included the magic of finding a ‘package software’ for my file and within that deleting two files. 

Surely it couldn’t be that simple?

The next step said to try to open my project. With little expectation I double clicked. Waited. Yeah!!!! It started to load, then said it was ‘retrieving’ data…at last the project was up – but the pages were blank, my long side bar of chapters empty, nothing down the left column!!

This was even worse, now there was nothing left to rescue. I plunged into darkness but then recalled the strong self-assured email. I could not imagine they would let this happen. With a few more clicks on the side bar, my long list of chapters and the full WIP loaded fully.  

I held my breath. Everything seemed in order. Up to date with all my latest amendments and additions.

Not quite believing it would work, I closed Scrivener and then opened my folder again. A satisfying brr from my computer and up it popped on the screen. Perfect.

With shutdown complete I headed to my family to deliver the good news, dancing downstairs en route and entering the living room with a slight leap of joy.

It has been an emotional two days. I’m relieved everything works now but still bemused what actually happened. I’ve asked scrivener to explain what could have gone wrong and if this could happen again. In the meantime I have finally found out how to set automatic back up from Scrivener although I doubt this would have helped anyway since that whole file was corrupted.

My ease and enjoyment of using the system will in the end override any long term concerns I have and I will continue now to work away on my first draft with renewed confidence.