How to Screw Up and Let it Go: AKA, Be Your Own Holiday Miracle

Everybody’s heard of those terrible, awful times that can happen to the unsuspecting creative, right? Those times when the creator loses something they’ve been working on. Something big. Something beautiful. Something important. They lose it because they didn’t save it, didn’t have a backup in place, didn’t…do something right. And then something goes wrong, and they lose their hard work. Exit calm stage left, enter tearful rage.

You resolve to never let it happen to you. Nuh-uh, not you. You have backups for your backups. You’re saving your document every five minutes…or whatever, you’ve got autosave, it’s just as good. You’re gonna be fine, just fine. That tear-stained, devastated muse will never be you. You’re good to go.

And then…


Your computer forces an update, shuts everything down, and when it all comes back you have a version that’s telling you to save it and you DO, before checking to make sure all your latest work was in there.

Which it wasn’t.


This is me right now.

I had thousands of words written for the next update on my Patreon story. Words that flowed, words that were beautiful and precious and just what I needed them to be. Words that worked, darn it. And what did I go and do after my computer auto-updated and handed me the version it told me was the most recent?

I saved the wrong version of the story and deleted all my lovely new words.

Welp, I’ve still got a story to get out there to my followers, guess I’m going to have to hove to and go at it until all those words are back. They might be lesser, they may be unenthusiastic, it could feel like stabbing myself in the gumline with a toothpick over and over again, but I should do it. Right?

No. No way. I can’t do it. And the nice thing is, I don’t have to.

Anyone who’s into my writing enough to be a member of my Patreon community will undoubtedly understand when I relate my tale of woe. They will get that I can’t force my mind back to that story right now—I just can’t, it makes me too sad. They’ll know that this isn’t a season for enduring avoidable sadness, and that I’ll make it up to them—which I will, with some different stories and some fun polls and some custom artwork and all the other things I have going on my Patreon.

I don’t make these screw-ups often, but I’m experienced enough now to know that the best thing to do when you make a mistake like this is just…forgive yourself. Nobody’s going to be harder on you than you under these circumstances, so please, don’t. Be kind to yourself. Be your own holiday miracle and let it go, at least for a while. Do something you love, eat something delicious, be around people you enjoy. Don’t stress over what’s already happened, because yeah, you’ll have to confront that again, but not while you’re still sore

Leave it be, and give yourself a break. Heck, give yourself a pat on the back, a little squeeze, a foot rub. You’ll be okay.

And when you feel better, plan your revenge against the devilish auto-update.