I wrote some good stuff yesterday. In fact I thought the grant application was good - I'd thought long and hard about the aims of my project and managed to distill them into the space available. I thought I'd almost finished, and that it was a good time to review the application and share it with a colleague for his advice.
But then silly me clicked 'Next', and not 'Save and Exit' and the whole day's work was lost.
So what to do? Pack up for the week and eat dougnuts? Try and rescue the application and re-write what I'd already written, or start from scratch?
This episode reinforced for me the way in which writing involves so much personal investment, and as our #Acwri Twitter chats have highlighted for me, how much writing is thinking as well as typing.
My initial reaction to losing my words was that the situation was not recoverable - I didn't think I could write something as good again, especially with my new found frustration and demoralisation. And I didn't think I could remember the exact ideas I'd lost or the exact sequence in which I'd written them, which seemed to encapsulate exactly what I wanted to say.
In the end, and like so much in academic life (peer review, conference questions, digital recorder disasters and corrupted computers) the best way forward seems to be to accept it happened and move on. No piece of work is perfect. And once you have an idea, is it not always there somewhere in your mind to be recovered, reconfigured or even improved on? You can lose words, but maybe ideas are more permanent.