How I Damn Near Lost All the Contents of My Next Book
Today was almost a no good, very bad day. Okay, it wasn’t all bad. I actually woke up to news that one of the podcasts I’ve pitched wants to interview me. That was good news.
But when I sat down in front of my laptop and went into Google docs, the file where I keep all of my writing for Almost Sated, and in fact nearly all of my writing over the last nine months—over 75,000 words that I intended to use as the basis for my next book!—was gone.
I checked my docs, I checked my drive, I checked my docs and my drives on my other Gmail accounts (thinking in some weird way they could have accidentally moved), but it was nowhere to be found. Panic started rising up in the pit of my stomach, because I knew what I had done.
My Google storage space is almost used up, and a few nights ago, I set about reviewing older files and sending them to the trash. And not just sending them to the trash, and letting Google do its thing and permanently delete them in 30 days, no, no, no, I actually took that final step and permanently deleted them myself.
Including this week’s Almost Sated.
“Mama, it’s like that scene in ‘Love Actually,’ when the pages of the guy’s manuscript blow into the pond, and they have to go in and get them” my daughter said, trying to keep it light, as I drove her to her last final of the semester.
Once she got out, I parked myself in a visitor spot and immediately started looking into whether it was possible to recover permanently deleted Google files. Surely, there was a way. Finally, I stumbled upon an article that told me if it hadn’t been that long since the permanent deletion, I could reach out to Google, they could perhaps recover the files for me. So, that’s what I did.
And voila, within a mere 5 minutes of filing my request, Google had restored all of my deleted files from the last week. Whew!—crisis averted.
It’s funny, because since the release of Show Your Work: Successful Women Share the Bumpy Roads to Their Biggest Wins a few weeks ago, I have been debating my next steps as it relates to my book. All along, I’ve intended to write a memoir framed around my first year transitioning to intuitive eating. But after Show Your Work, I’ve wondered if I would be better served by writing a different kind of book first, a how-to guide, or a manual, before tackling a memoir. My friend and fellow author Sylvia tells me all this second-guessing myself is just my perfectionism getting in my way. I’m sure she’s right, but I’m still not sure where I’m at on it.
But this morning, when I realized those words were almost certainly gone forever, I summoned tears, but they wouldn’t come. There was another part of me that was simply ready to accept that all of the work was gone, and I would have to start over. Sure, there was dread and fear—I have done a lot of work to get to this point—but I also know that in order to publish a book anyone would actually want to read, those 75,000 words would need to be completely reworked and then transformed into something else anyway. Those first drafts really are just lumps of clay.
Speaking of first drafts, I reread the post intended for this week. I think it’s some of the strongest writing I’ve done, and captures a powerful realization I’ve had in this journey, but it’s not quite ready for share time. Farrah Storr, a former magazine editor for Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, and Elle who is now full-time at Substack, put out a call for writers to submit a piece of non-fiction to be featured on her newsletter, and I plan to do it. While I initially had a different idea of what I wanted to write about, I think the post I intended for this week could be the one.
Anyway, this week’s post, as you can tell, is a bit off-topic. Last week was completely devoted to reviewing FAT TALK: Parenting in the Age of Diet Culture, Virginia Sole-Smith’s new release. If you haven’t picked it up yet, I highly recommend it. This week, I’ve been making my way through Christy Harrison’s new release, The Wellness Trap, and it’s taking me back through all the crazy diets and supplements and “lifestyle” programs I tried in the name of “wellness,” which is code for “not gaining weight.” I’ve also been spending a lot of time learning about binge eating (apparently, it’s a subject I can’t get enough of) and even took a three-day workshop about what causes people to binge and how to stop, contemplating my new relationship with movement (what I used to call exercise), and working behind the scenes to build more readership here. Speaking of which, if you’re enjoying my writing, would you please, please, please subscribe and share?
Next week, I’ll be back to my regular programming.
Thanks for reading Almost Sated. Right now, I’m focused on getting this newsletter into the hands of people who need it. If you found what you read interesting, encouraging, or helpful, please subscribe and consider sharing it with others.
You can now pick up Show Your Work: Successful Women Share the Bumpy Roads to Their Biggest Wins, the book I co-authored. In it, I talk about the major life challenges that made me realize I had to heal my relationship with food and my body.
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