Thankfully, I seem to have finally won my prolonged argument with OneDrive and not lost anything super important. As a wise technician once told me, "To err is human, but to really foul things up, it takes a computer!"
Interestingly, even when I thought I might have lost most of my files, I surprised myself by how calm I was. I think it was because I realized something important, at least for my fiction:
I hadn't lost anything that I couldn't replace.
Granted, I certainly would rather get the original stuff back than have to go to all the work of rewriting it! But I have bits and pieces of dialogue and scenes that have been twiddling their thumbs in the back of my head for years. And those are ideas that I haven't even put much thought into developing.
So even if I'd lost, say, an entire screenplay, I still had its source. Conveniently attached inside my skull, in fact. (Which is probably good, considering how often I drop/forget where I put things.) And given how much more time and brainpower I've already put into each screenplay, I have no doubt that I could remember enough to reconstruct them all if I had to. Not easily, perhaps. But I could do it.
This is not, of course, to say that you shouldn't back up your files. Do it. In multiple places. And make sure you actually know how your backup mechanism works before you get started so that you don't do what I did. 😑
But this is to say that even if your technology betrays you and eats your files, all is not lost. As long as you have your brain and some kind of writing implement (be it the electronic or the paper-and-pencil kind), you have everything you need.
Don't despair. You've got this.
P.S. What are your favorite ways to back up your files? Comment below!
(Thanks to Sebastian Herrmann for sharing their work on Unsplash.)