Two weeks ago I had a disastrous hard drive failure on my laptop – the machine I’m presently typing on, in fact. And, as I mentioned in my blog post last Friday, while I thought I had adequate back-up resources to guarantee an uninterrupted and trouble-free recovery, I was wrong.
So while it is a relatively simple matter to install a new hard drive, and relatively easy to recover the operating system, everything beyond that has been… problematic.
Right now, my only hope to recover three of my unpublished books (two first drafts – one partially completed – and the design for a third novel) is through data recovery. It is expected to take until early July to get this completed, and there is no certainty it will be successful.
In the interim, I have been left with a bit of a conundrum – what do I work on?
The first draft I was writing was about 1/3 complete when the drive failed. I realize I could continue laboring on that book, but doing so means starting over. Starting over means tossing roughly 40-50 hours of work out the window. And it means working without the original design documents.
There are some positive arguments in favor of staying with that book. Right now I remember more about it than I will if I delay by a month or two (and fail to recover the last version.) Right now I recall character names, scene descriptions, and the flow of the story. The longer I wait to rewrite it, the less of this I’ll retain. In fact, I could probably “pants” the rewrite if I did it now. In a couple months, I’ll need the design documents to write the first scene – which is something else I’ll have to redo.
Despite the arguments, I can’t accept the loss of all that labor. And I don’t want to deal with the discomfort hat arises when rewriting something. I would be quite disturbed by that nagging search for the “same” story I’d previously gotten down on paper, and find myself continually wondering if the total project would have been better if worked from its original version.
Basically, I’d end up hating every minute spent on the rewriting.
So instead I’ve begun work on a new project, “Bad Boss – Good Boss.” Essentially this will be a compilation and expansion of two blog series I’ve recently run – “What made my best boss great” and “Extreme leadership styles that fail.” The intention of the book is provide pointers to bosses on how to avoid caustic leadership styles, and advice on how to do right by their employees. A secondary purpose is to provide insight to employees on what to look for in a top-notch boss, and how to cope if you find yourself stuck with one that is problematic.
Since the base material is already written, putting together the project should be pretty simple, requiring only two or three editing passes. I’m working on the first one, now.
Lengthwise, this book will be similar to Navigating Corporate Politics, which has been my most profitable book thus far. I suppose there is even a chance I’ll be able to get it out yet this year.
So out of disappointment I’ve managed to rally and find a new project to get excited about.
Life is good!