Dispatches from Suburbia

If I played an instrument, I would have a band called "The Simon Thomsen Sex Tape"; and other musings, rants, and disconnected ramblings.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Not the Hermaphrodite Post

"The first draft of everything is shit."
-Ernest Hemingway

Earlier today, I'd written a fantastic post about a hermaphrodite that moved into my old neighborhood. I'd spent far more time on that post than I usually do, and I was quite happy with what I'd written.

Then I went to Google.com. Went I realized what I'd done, I pressed the "back" button, only to find that I'd lost everything I'd typed. Dammit, it was a good post too.

It makes me feel better to remember that Hemingway once lost a satchel full of drafts, stories, and various other works in progress. Apparently, his wife at the time had left the satchel on a train, which helps to explain the misogyny in his work that is so apparent to today's readers.

I wonder how Hemingway would handle today's writing world. Would he keep a blog? Would he save frequently throughout his work? If he did keep a blog, would he write out something that brought him great pride, then foolishly go to Google without saving his draft?

Recently, my computer crashed, and I smacked myself for not keeping backup disks of my work. When the computer was returned by Toshiba, I was thrilled to find that I hadn't lost any of my work.

That doesn't bring back my hermaphrodite piece, however, and I will have to write an entirely new draft. Oh well. The first draft of everything is shit, right?


At 8:22 PM, Blogger Danny Tagalog said...

Yeah, I think so - you'll probably re-write it better in view of this belief. Nice anecodote about Ernest. Cheers!

At 10:02 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

Back up? Unfamiliar with this term.

At 1:10 AM, Blogger ShadowFalcon said...

The promise of hermaphrodites will bring me back to you!

after losing all my stories years and years ago, backing up is like a compulsion to me!

At 4:39 AM, Blogger Sheila said...

I always lose things... papers, homework, keys... the damn keys run away on purpose I swear! The first draft of all my stuff is shit. Always shit. The only time it is halfway decent is if I wait until 2 in the morning the day before something is due and work til morning light... and that only works for homework! ;o)

At 6:45 AM, Blogger Michelle's Spell said...


You have ALL my sympathy. I lose so much as a paragraph and have a conipition fit! I'm not great at backing up so every once in a while . . . and I find it hard to recreate because of the boredom factor, ie -- when Dorothy Parker lost a novel to fire, she said she couldn't rewrite it because she already knew the ending! I get that totally.

At 7:40 AM, Blogger Erik Donald France said...

Losing any writing -- Hate it!

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Laura said...

I know how you feel about losing things you've written onto the computer. One time my family tree info was wiped out, and believe me, that goes back many years, actually a few centuries, and I didn't have a back up disc. Needless to say, I was pissed off. I had most of the info written on paper and luckily I could redo all my data on the computer, but it took a long, long time to finish.

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Stewart Sternberg said...

You know what else Hemingway said? He said: "Pay attention when you're screwing with Google." Ah PAPA. I have such fondness for the neurotic old guy.

At 3:20 AM, Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

Hemingway didn't lose enough of his writing if you ask me. I'm not a big fan of his. I do like the quote though.

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