Home » General » New Writing Programs, Auto Save, and Tears

New Writing Programs, Auto Save, and Tears

I’ve been writing with an ancient writing program. Ancient as in 2000. It never felt ancient, but the more I used it for my work, the more I realized it was outdated.

For starters, I couldn’t read .docx files. In an ironic twist, I could on my phone, but I couldn’t manipulate it the way I needed to. I downloaded a conversion. Problem solved! Or…not. While my conversion worked, it was very, very finicky. Simply put: it likes to eat pages. Send me a 300 page manuscript? I may get 30 pages. And if I edit in the .docx file the pages mysteriously grew smaller.

I thought I was going insane. Especially when the document went from 83 pages, to 38 pages. Figured my slight case of dyslexia had kicked in. Then it went down again and I knew I wasn’t crazy!

Tired of asking my writer friends to convert to .doc, and realizing I would need the newer features available eventually, I decided to take the plunge.

And while I was hemming and hawing, afraid to install the new version, I ran into a horror situation every writer fears/experiences. I had finished editing a chapter in one of my novels, complete with backtracking to strengthen some plot points. In this backtracking I also wrote a kickass paragraph where my character’s voice was rich, strong and sure.

Hours later I went to open the same document. A message popped up: Would you like to revert to the saved version? Since I always, always, always save, I clicked “yes.”

I’m pausing here to cry all over again.

I knew as soon as my finger lifted I made the wrong choice. I spent the next hour scrambling, trying to find the version that had been so beautiful. Nothing. It was gone. I had never clicked save, my old writing program had never auto saved.

It was time. I installed the updated program. The past fifteen years of comfort now gone, I’m in a brand new environment. And even though it’s still a learning curve, I like it.

Especially when I see “auto saving” at the bottom of the screen.

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