From Beyond the Grave.

Happy 2015, everyone!

I began my new year with a party — drinking good wine, eating delicious food, chatting with old friends and making some new ones. It’s said that whatever you do on the first day of the year reflects what you’ll be doing throughout the year.

But I can’t party every day. Well, yes. I could. But there are bills to pay.

So over the next few days, I got things ready for business in 2015. I created documents to keep track of my writing and reading and client work. I reviewed goals I had set in previous years and set some new ones. I analyzed where I’d submitted manuscripts, researched editors and publishers’ catalogs, and made notes about where and what to submit this year. I created a new Excel document that would help me work more efficiently and submit manuscripts more wisely (which took more than three hours of data entry).

And then my hard drive said, “Tink. Tink-tink. Tink.”

Gone. All that prep work for the year, and everything else I had on that hard drive, gone.

It made me wish I worked in a field where computers weren’t necessary. I wished I wasn’t so dependent on technology. I wished I wasn’t a writer.

So right then and there, I quit. I shut my laptop. I declared myself Not-A-Writer.


(c) 2014 Photo by Carol Munro


It was like a death. I felt hollowed. Empty and echo-y and silenced.

I stayed dead for about a day, then I put my party pants back on, drank some good wine, and got back to the business of writing. Because a writer’s gotta write, right?

One of the things that brought me back was Facebook. Or more accurately, the community of writing friends I have there. Yes, YOU. You saved me. Thank you.

Thank you, Julie Hedlund, Kelli Panique, my co-Elves, and 12×12 (which is open for 2015 membership now through February 28).

Thank you, Elaine Kiely Kearns, Sylvia Liu, and KidLit411 (celebrating a one-year anniversary now with a party full of prizes, but the best gift of all is the wealth of info for all kidlit writers all year long).

Thank you, Alayne Kay Christian and Sub Six. Thank you to my fellow Cybils judges, to Tara Lazar and PiBoIdMo (just named one of the top 10 blogs for writers), to the other online groups I belong to, and to the writers who are not only my friends on Facebook or face-to-face, but also in my heart.

You all brought this writer back.

And hopefully, soon, a techno-wizard will bring back the contents of my hard drive.


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8 responses to “From Beyond the Grave.

  1. Keep those party pant on, Carol! I’m so glad you’re “back”!

  2. Wow! You’re the most committed writer I know! If you quit, there be so many of us without your inspiration.
    Maybe the universe is sending you a message: leave the past behind. Who know what you’ll write on such a clean slate!

  3. So glad you are back! Hollow is not good. But I am sorry about those technical problems. May be time for a pen and paper interlude?

    • Many of my manuscripts begin with paper and pen, Jeannine. And I do try to keep hard copies of the latest versions. I can gather most of my docs from here and there, so there’s not much that’s completely lost. It’s just that everything was so well organized in that drive.

  4. I’m so glad you decided to stick with it! I’ve had stuff like this happen to me too much in the past few years. Make sure you have a hard copy of everything (even the things that stink). Also lots of backups! I have a lot of backups in the sent box of my email. Sometimes I just email manuscripts to myself.

    I hope it never happens to you again. Especially not the part about quitting writing. You are too awesome for that!

    • Even the stuff that stinks! Yep. I do have copies of those. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have copies of the stuff I liked but haven’t started polishing yet. I’m mourning them. For a bit. Then on with the show, as they say!

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