So, for those of you who saw my last post, you know that I recently lost all of my work on my two works in progress. All. Gone.
So I had to start over. Yeah, that sucks.
So, I decided to use that, and the feelings I went through for writing tips. If I ever wanted to have my characters to convey the five stages of grief, I had already had plenty of experience, but now it’s fresh, and raw, and new.
It was akin to losing something to near and dear to your heart.
So here we go.
Stage 1: Denial
This. Cannot. Be. Happening.
Check. I was there. I could not believe everything was just, gone. I ranted for, oh, four hours, on how it was not possible. I ran various software designed to find and recover deleted files. The whole while thinking, “This will work. It has to work. It can’t just be gone. No way.” Yep. Denial.
The emotions were: Confusion, Disbelief, Wonder. And I felt a knot in my stomach the size of China. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But it felt big.
Stage 2: Anger
Later that evening I hit this stage. After all software confirmed the same thing. It was gone. I wanted to throw my USB in the trash. It was the problem. Had it been a better USB this wouldn’t have happened. I will never use another USB.
The emotions were strong. My face flushed red when the software confirmed my fears. I took it out on my desk. It was less than civilized. Feet stomping. Door slamming. I was a spoiled three year old. It was not pretty.
Stage 3: Bargaining
This stage came when my husband got home. He’s a wiz with computers. And I was sadly under the impression he could make it all better. “If you please restore my files, I will love you forever.” Well, I mean, I already will, but that, plus a dinner bribe and he was on my computer with the USB.
I paced. I nagged. I looked over his shoulder while he worked. All the while making him terribly uncomfortable until he ultimately kicked me out of the office to work in peace.
Stage 4: Depression
Yeah, this one hit me hard. Lasted all weekend. When he finally told me that everything was in fact gone. I cried. I laid in bed and wallowed. I moved around the house like a zombie. I didn’t want to do anything. The task of rewriting everything seemed so monumental and daunting; and not something I wanted to tackle. Yeah, I was pathetic.
Stage 5: Acceptance
This came Monday morning. When I realized all was not lost. That I had hand written my outline for both stories in my notebook, and that I had emailed the first five chapters to critique partners right before everything went dark.
So most everything was gone. When I started there was nothing. It was a blank page. But now, I have my outline. I know where the stories were going. I have the first five chapters as a good starting point. I just have to start at Chapter Six. Which, while a big task, doesn’t seem as bad as starting at Chapter One of two stories with nothing.
So there you are. The five stages of grief. Hopefully it will help some, I know it will definitely help me. And who knows, I may change a few things in my stories so my characters have to go through these. Even though I know it’s not their faults.