Well, it looks like my USB drive is officially unfixable.
I have a backup of my novel’s manuscript as it was at the beginning of the summer, so it’s not a total loss - but the past two months of some intense writing (as well as an in-depth edit of the entire manuscript and dozens of pages of typed notes) is unrecoverable, mostly due to my own preventable, careless stupidity, which included:
- Keeping important files on a cheap USB drive.
- Not being diligent in backing up THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I’VE EVER WRITTEN.
Of course, I know how ridiculous it sounds and it’s not true, but I feel like I’ll never be able to write again.
Once I finally get the nerve to click open my backup document from June, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to recreate the magic of the past two months. I’m always obsessively critical and self-conscious of my writing, but I never felt more “on” or more confident in my writing than I had this summer.
If I could get beyond the nausea (interspersed with the moments of rage and sorrow and self-pity), I’d give it a whirl. Instead, I think I need a few more days of moping, staring blankly at the wall, neglecting my personal hygiene, and drinking milk directly out of the carton.
As for the details of what happened with the flash drive: being that it was a monolithic flash drive that snapped, the only chance, according to the data recovery expert, would involve microscopes and cost over $1,000… not the $250-$350 of a usual fix (which I was eagerly going to pay). And even then, he said, the data may not be recoverable.
We spent about forty minutes talking over the phone. I learned more about USB drives than I ever imagined possible, but he also coached me through some other possibilities of finding hidden traces of the document that still might be on my computer and able to be recovered. No luck. Not a trace.
All right. I’m done pitying myself.