Friday, April 2, 2010
You Might Be a Writer If...
While I was in Virginia, I did manage to escape for a little bit. Ironically, it was during one of the school visits I did there that I came across this little insight:
You might be a writer if...you hide extra copies of you WIP like horcruxes.
A child asked me if I keep extra copies of my manuscripts that I'm working on. I had to suppress maniacal laughing. Extra copies would be sane. I keep a gazillion copies stashed all over the place because, you know, what happens if my hard drive crashes? I need a copy not on my computer. So I put one on my husband's computer. But that might crash too. So I also got an Apple Time Machine that backs up his computer, my computer and anything else we connect to it. Okay, but what if the house burns down? Or we get one of those tornadoes Oklahoma is so famous for? Forget the house, the photos, the musical instruments, I need a safe copy of my WIP! Seriously, when we practice tornado drills in our house, my laptop is right after my kids. Nonetheless, I also keep a copy on a little zip drive I carry around with me. Ah, but that's not foolproof either. What if I lose it? Okay, so I need to periodically email myself a copy of it. Yes, safe in cyberspace.
Or not. My email could get lost. Things like that happen in cyberspace, you know.
Okay, so I make a hard copy of it. But this gets back at the "What if the house burns down?" issue. So, I send my WIP to a close friend (name not to be shared because, of course, that would defeat the purpose of keeping it safe, right?).
This friend is a screenwriter who has worked on blockbuster movies and understands the (I will not use the word "paranoid" despite how applicable it may seem) overly cautious first parent attention an author pays to her little, developing WIPs. This person keeps my WIP in a safe. A fireproof safe. Ah, finally, my little baby is safe.
Of course, getting rid of that hard copy is just as hard as getting rid of a horcrux. My friend recently had one destroyed for me. Believe me, this person is a gem. (S)he understands my need for total secrecy (which is not silly or extreme, is it?) with an unfinished piece. (S)he works with a company that does nothing else but destroy such types of writing. The WIP was shredded first one direction. Then the other. Then burned. And I can get the ashes if I really really want proof.
If you think of a WIP as being a little piece of an author's soul, then I think all of the--what may seem--nutty behavior makes sense.