I stared at the blank Word Document. Damn digital pirates. Not only did they steal my stories, they stole my muses, too. Now, I had to go get them and it was an adventure I wasn’t equipped for. I didn’t know where to look, how to fight back or what I’d have to do to get them back. Did I need ransom money? Did I have to buy software to track them? Was it as simple as just posting on a message board asking for help and offering a reward?
I had a time stamp on all my stories, but not all of them were copywritten. It was expensive and you had to pay another fee if you revised your work past a point. I was registered with the Writer’s Guild, but I wasn’t sure how much help I’d get for a situation like this. I had websites I had posted on, email accounts and journals, but those would only give me back so many stories. No, the bulk of it had been stolen and was probably being turned into the next Mortal Instruments or Fifty Shades or Gray. Not that I write erotica, mind you. They were the only two novels I could think of that were created using plagiarism.
I searched through each of my email accounts and downloaded all of my documents, regardless of file type. I went through each and every community entry that I posted from my journals and copied and pasted each body of work. Finally, I saved my work from various writers’ websites. That took up about 25 percent and some of my old journals had been deleted from lack of usage.
As I rifled through my backup CD’s and drives, it occurred to me just how lazy I was. The things I had saved were from at least 5 revisions ago. Anything more recent had been updated on the cloud or some other digital source. My writer’s website was still being built and it had crashed. All I had were notes, outlines, bones and other random, miscellaneous pieces of information to reconstruct my story from scratch.
Suddenly, it hit me: the printed copy. I had printed out not one, but two bodies of work. If I typed them up all over again, I could restart some of my work. I dug through my folders and looked through them. While they were two major pieces, I had spun off at least 20 different projects from those two books alone. I went to the NaNoWriMo website so I could see if I had the submitted projects up and hoped that it sent me in the right direction. Once I was done, I got to 40 percent.
What would I do about the other 60? I began to look up software, as well as data recovery services. I made a note to call or email the people at Wordpress and the various journals to see if it was possible to prove that the work was mine in case someone tried to publish it.
The moral of the story? Backup more often and do it manually and digitally. Also, copywrite as much as you possibly can and register
- 30 day challenge-Day 29