December 16, 2008
Losing Your Book
I love to listen to the American Public Media show The Story, where real people talk about their lives with a highly skilled empathetic interviewer. There was a program about writing on December 8 that will tear at the heart of any author. It seems that a young promising writer, Andrew Porter, working on his first book had his entire manuscript of stories stolen in a burglary—his computer was taken and his leather briefcase (with all of the hard copies) was also taken.
He was never able to recreate what he lost. And his anger at the whole situation blocked him from new writing for the next three years.
You can hear the story at theStory.org (click on the calendar for December 8—it’s the second part of the show).
Posted by Cindy Bunch
at December 16, 2008 1:26 PM
How awful! It reminds of a story told to me by one of my undergrad profs. They were interviewing a prospective new faculty member, and they noticed that, in the interview, on the tour of the campus, at their dinner that evening, he always kept by his side a very large black case. He even took it to the bathroom with him. Turns out, it was the sole copy of his doctoral thesis (this was pre-personal computer), and he was terrified of letting it out of his sight for even a second.
Great story! I suppose there are even more such sad stories that pre-date computers. Most of the stories I hear deal with losing a chapter or a day of writing. These are bad experiences, but don't compare with losing the whole darn thing.
Glad to find your blog. I'm an old IVCF person from way back.
Blessings on your ministry!! And Merry Christmas.
-Paul Merrill for Wycliffe's The Seed Company
Makes me think of Kay Strom, who lost FOUR books-in-progress in a house fire. Ever since she told me that I've taken to emailing my work to various people from time to time, so my space is not the only place an archive exists.
Cindy, though, I had to chuckle that you commented "great story." Um, would that be the over-tired, holiday-weary, I-don't-ever-want-to-look-at-another-manuscript editor's perspective? ;-)