I rarely blog on impulse these days. For one thing I don’t make the time to do it. For another, I am constantly wondering if I’d be troubling my readers by frequent posting. But today, I cannot help myself. I must blog. I must write. It’s a very emotional day.
Besides the fact that it is actually the 4th anniversary of this blog (which I blogged about 2 days ago), something marvellous happened.
As you may recall, I lost the copy of my 50,000-word first draft when my laptop went up in smoke in early April. Understandably, I was devastated. But since I believe that everything happens for a reason, I decided to look at the silver lining.
May came around and I got a new laptop and while most of my data was online and could be retrieved, I was conscious that I had no idea how much of my draft had been backed up online.
And I didn’t want to check. A part of me fought back tears while this other part said ‘It’s probably for the best. Nobody would have read that book anyway. That’s why it left your side.’
We’re writers. Rejection is part of our life breath and so is disappointment. I’ve learnt to take a lot of disappointment on the chin but this? This was particularly hard.
The last I tweeted about the memoir was way back in November, 2016. That was a year and a half ago. But I know that I DID write after that as well but couldn’t bring myself to open that folder in my Google Drive to confirm how much was saved and how much of it was lost to the ether.
— Shailaja V 📝 (@shyvish) November 3, 2016
A year and a half is a long time in the writing world. Most authors write a book a month, if not more. And here I was , 18 months after the fact with no knowledge of whether the ‘book’ even existed.
Did it make sense to even continue thinking about it? I don’t know.
But today, I bit the bullet. I tentatively opened the folder and took a deep breath. I remember I had written the draft in 5 installments and had labelled them differently. The first thing I saw was all 5 files staring back at me!
But I couldn’t rejoice yet. I had to check if the word count matched. So I inhaled, opened each file and calculated the word count. Simultaneously I opened the calculator on a different tab and started entering the numbers for each file.
19,808 + 14, 546 + 8,706 + 4,635 + 4,765
The numbers stared back at me from the screen and I confess I cried again, but this time out of sheer relief and joy. I had kept all hopes at bay and had even resigned myself to the possibility of 18 months of writing having gone down the drain.
But, this? This moment? I am unable to find words to describe it today.
This means that my story is ready for the world.
That I must finish this task that I began in February, 2015.
That even if 2 people read it when it is done, it would have fulfilled its role in the cosmos.
And from the bottom of my heart, I send up a prayer of gratitude to the Universe, my friends who sent messages of hope and consolation and who kept asking me to look for the backup.
Thank you. Thank you so very very much. Today, you made me believe that the writer in me is alive and well.
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