It was a week ago today that I blogged about finishing my book, but I was dissatisfied with the last few chapters. Well today was the first time that I've had a chance to go back and and look at them. When I did, I noticed that something was off. Some changes that I knew I had previously written were no longer there. The closer I looked, the more changes I found missing. When I drilled down to the final chapter, it wasn't there.
I finally figured out what had happened and I am beside myself for my own stupidity. I work on my book on two different computers, home and work. The bulk I write at home, but every now and then I have down time at work and I'll devote sometime to tweaking this or that. In order to do this, I e-mail myself the book back and forth between home and the office. I'm usually very disciplined about this. But for some reason, after I spent a good portion of Labor Day weekend finishing the book, I didn't e-mail it to myself at work on the following Tuesday. On Wednesday I opened the file at work, made some changes, then e-mailed back home. When the e-mail arrived at home, I saved that version (the pre-labor day weekend one) over the top of the Labor Day weekend version, thus wiping out everything I had written.
What upsets me the most isn't the entire chapter that is gone (because I have a hard copy of that), but rather the tiny adjustments I make. I'll think of something I need to foreshadow earlier in the book, so I'll drop in a line or two. It's those type of changes I've lost and those are the hardest to remember.
Losing a chapter or some fairly insignificant changes isn't the worse thing, I've know people who've lost 3/4 of a book from a hard drive melt-down, but it still smarts.
Time to pick up the pieces and move on.