‘F’ challenged me in the comments to my Earl Brutus interview to squeeze out a haiku. Here’s one about a writer’s nightmare:
Hands mining pockets,
Blood spiked with adrenalin.
A missing notebook.
Maybe ‘Lost limb’ is a bit over the top. But losing a notebook, especially when it’s almost full of ideas I’ve been chewing on for a couple of months, is a short, sharp pain. So maybe it’s like losing a little finger at the first knuckle. Now, often the ideas that are taking shape in a notebook are also still rolling around the inside of my head bone, but it’s the observations, the day dreaming and the snatched overheard dialogue that are traumatically miscarried.
Once, I managed to wipe my hard drive of all my writing. With the help of a disc recovery program I salvaged some of it, but an entire draft of a TV drama idea vanished. However it turned out to be one of the better things that could have happened. I was forced back onto the original idea, and the spine of the story, without the accumulated – and it turned out not very good – writing I’d already done. Losing the draft was like an exceptionally brutal bit of editing. I wouldn’t recommend it every time.