How I Accidentally Turned my Blog into a Clean Slate

It’s been a long time since I’d seen that dreaded Blue Screen of Death. Years of using macs have spared me the horror, and if mac made a netbook maybe I’d have lived blissfully blue screen free for eternity. I’d almost forgotten the sinking, my guys have turned to lead, feeling that appears when you know that this one isn’t going to be fixed by just restarting.

The Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) ambushed me last Tuesday as I was packing up my things. I was facing an 21 hour journey to Vancouver, a tech filled weekend at TBEX and then another 9 hours of flying to get home. My Asus eee netbook is less than a year old, but there’s not a whole lot tech support could do for me over in China. There’s never really a good time for your computer to crap out on you, but this was pretty damn inconvenient.

oh computer, how could you betray me so?

Lucky girl that I am though, my boyfriend is a computer genius, who simultaneously managed to keep me calm, and gently coax my computer into coming back to life. That was the good news! The not so good: the entire C-drive was wiped.

Mentally I took stock:

Music: all safe and sound on my iPod

Pictures: backed up on my external hard drive

Words: not so lucky…

I like to write in Open Office, and I usually work from a range of drafts with start dates running back months. About 25 blogs posts, for this and my other blog, in various states of composition were totally gone. Dissolved. Never to be seen again. Seeing as it takes me 3-5 hours to fully write a blog post, that’s a lot of man hours (and some pretty good ideas) down the drain.

crushed paper - writer's block - crumpled paper with unfocused background
photo credit: photosteve101

Oh, it is painful. All of those posts, all of those ideas (including my big running list document “Blog Post Ideas”), all of my spreadsheets and other business materials totally wiped out.** It’s not just the work either: I’ve gotten so used to writing down my experiences and fine tuning them with words that it almost feels like certain memories are erased. Even if I manage to re-write some of those ideas the tiny details, and that original spark of inspiration is gone forever.

Always the optimist, I’m trying to look at this from a positive angle. I just spent the last few days in Vancouver at TBEX, where I was fortunate enough to meet all sorts of people doing really cool travel related things. It made me think that I’ve written myself into a bit of a rut these last few months; a bit navel gaze-y. My blog could benefit from some new energy and maybe even a new direction.

So maybe this is one of those horrible blessings in disguise. A late spring cleaning, a tabula rasa for my ideas. Erasing all those old thoughts will hopefully mean room for new inspiration. I want this blog to be better for you guys- I want to keep telling you stories of course, but also to get you the encouragement and information that you need for your own adventures. Because really, it’s not all about me. Thanks universe, for so brutally reminding me of that.

Also, I’m totally getting a mac.

What sort of things would you like to see more of on Twenty-Something Travel?

 

*Yes, I know I should have backed them up. I know. Trust me, I know.

36 thoughts on “How I Accidentally Turned my Blog into a Clean Slate”

  1. Ouch! Sorry to hear that. But, as you said, maybe that’s a good thing.

    In the future it might be a good idea to keep your drafts in dropbox or in your wordpress drafts folder. I write mine in textedit, but then as soon as I am done for the day, I put it onto wordpress in the form of a draft. It does make it hard when you have irregular internet access, but you can prepare for that by looking through your drafts ahead of time and downloading some to work on. Or, if you just use a dropbox sync folder, they’re already in both places at once.

  2. Yikes! Don’t blame Windows. 😛

    That happened to me as well. Now, I try to make sure docs are backed-up on the cloud or on google docs.

    I’d suggest to check out DropBox that can be set-up to automatically back-up files, docs, music etc. The free account comes with 2GB of storage. 🙂

  3. This is why you use Google Docs or sync all your Docs using Dropbox lol… you should’ve known better!!!

  4. Second that notion for Dropbox or backup to your external HD using a program like PureSync.

    Or better yet, BOTH!

    Personally, I write in Evernote which auto-syncs to their servers for backup and availability wherever.

  5. Aw, Steph! Such a bummer…I’m sorry to hear about that. My personal computer is a Mac–I went Mac in college and will never go back. But I have to use PCs at work and I loathe them. Constantly freezing and crashing. I would be livid if I lost everything. One thing I usually do when I’m working on something is save it as a draft in WordPress just so it’s somewhere in the cloud. It might be useful to back-up your stuff on Google docs, instead. It’s scary how much of your life can disappear in the blink of a BSoD! But I love the positive attitude 🙂

  6. Don’t be so hard on yourself, Steph! It is about YOU! (I mean, this is YOUR blog after all….)

    To be honest, I admire your positivity in seeing this as a clean slate. If I was in your position, I would be chucking my computer off the tallest building I had access to. And then probably refuse to write ever again. (Okay, hopefully I wouldn’t be THAT extreme. But you get the idea!)

  7. Awww man, this sucks. This is my total nightmare! Although I do back up my stuff pretty regularly to my external hard drive, I probably should put everything online should anything happen to both my computer & hard drive (highly likely as I’m terribly negligent… and have a bad habit of eating my breakfast over my computer… I’m pretty sure my coffee is going to topple all over my keyboard one day and I will be screwed).
    It seems like you’ve managed to look on the bright side, though. And don’t worry about losing your stories — you can always rewrite them… but now you have the luxury of being able to tweak them a bit should you forget some of the details (and when people accuse you of making up stuff, you can just blame technology! Yay!)

    1. As I was writing this post I managed to spill water on my keyboard- I should really be thankful anything works at all!

  8. When I think “laughing and crying” when most people will just be crying, you always come to mind. TABULA RASA

  9. Thats awful!! I am currently in the market for a netbook, so as to make travel blogging easier when on the road and as a faithful mac user I can totally understand the annoyance at no comparable mac netbook.

    Good to hear you are taking the positive out of the experience!

    I am going to back up my harddrive after reading this. 🙂

    1. If mac would just make a damn netbook my entire life would be easier. It’s pricey but I’m thinking a macbook air might be my next computer purchase.

  10. Oh no! That’s terrible! I’m sorry this happened!! It reminds me that I’ve been meaning to subscribe to an service that backs up any folders I select as soon as I am online. Have you looked into that? I have a little, but not enough to be able to recommend a good provider…

  11. It doesn’t matter what kind of laptop you have – pc or mac – you must do backup of your important docs. I haven’t seen blue screen for ages, but it doesn’t stop me of making copies of my hdd regularly. I hope your new future mac won’t make you too relaxed. Things happens.

  12. Sorry to hear that but you may be able to retrieve the data. Were you able to boot back into the drive and then saw that everything was missing? Or did the drive brick itself? As in, you can’t boot with the drive anymore?

    If it’s the latter case, there are companies that can retrieve data from a dead drive. It’ll probably cost a couple hundred dollars so it depends on how much you value the lost data.

    1. Well we were in a time crunch so we ended up reinstalling windows and re-writing the drive- thus I’m pretty sure it’s all gone…

  13. Oh that is the worse!!! I think I’m lucky in one sense because most of most best ideas, funny observations, brilliant sentences usually come to me randomly and end up written in my notebook first. On the occasion (and it has happened) that I forgot to save something (stupid Sasha!) all I had to do was re-write the filler words which isn’t quite so painful! My Mac is crying in sympathy for you! They really should bring out a netbook!

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