When I was sixteen, I wanted to keep a diary, but I was terrified of other people reading it. Also, I couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with my thoughts. So I began typing up my diary entries and emailing them to myself.
That way, they were protected by a password at least.
However, I used to have nightmares that I would accidentally press a wrong button, and WHOOSH! All my deepest darkest secrets would be emailed to real people, not just myself.
It never happened. But the nightmares were terrifying.
That’s what I’m reminded of right now, because I accidentally posted an unfinished draft I wrote last fall.
Thankfully it didn’t contain my deepest darkest secrets. But it’s still embarrassing. And it still gave me that feeling of WHOOSH! Can’t take this one back.
Here’s what happened:
Last fall, I had a really cool dream, and it gave me a fun book idea that merged with a book idea I’ve had for years. I was really excited about this. I wanted to drop all the projects I was working on, and focus exclusively on this new idea.
(I didn’t. But later, I did use the idea for my NaNoWriMo book in February, where I ended up hating it before I even reached 30,000 words because I forgot to put humor in.)
So I pulled out my phone, and started to write a blog post about what it’s like when a shiny new idea jumps in my brain and tries to take over.
Now, let me make it clear that I have endless ideas but limited follow-through. Which means that I have many, many unfinished blog post drafts. Right now, I have 107 drafts on WordPress and 24 drafts in the notes app on my current phone. This one was nothing special, just one of the many.
But this particular draft, about new ideas bounding in and trying to take over, I must have written when I was not connected to the internet. It was saved to my phone as a “local draft,” but was not saved online, and because of this it always floated at the top of my “drafts” tab on my WordPress app.
Okay. So then today happened. And I’m still very baffled, but here’s what went down:
I got a notification on my phone that someone had commented on my last post, “Endings and Beginnings.” I clicked on the notification to read the comment, which brought me into my WordPress app.
After reading the comment, I clicked over into the “Reader” tab to see if Trudy Metzger had posted anything recently. After scrolling down and seeing that I’d already read everything, I exited the app.
Then I went on Twitter. As I was scrolling through the tweets I saw a tweet from myself, posted one minute prior, linking to a blog post.
“This is strange,” I said to myself. “I haven’t posted in like, a week.” But I clicked the link, and it went to my blog, and there was this unfinished blog post from last fall.
Now, I have no idea how I managed to accidentally post it. I’m baffled. It must have posted while I was bipping around in the WordPress app, but it wasn’t like one slip of the finger would post an entire blog post. I would have had to click “My site,” and then “Blog Posts,” and then “Drafts,” and then “Publish.” That is four clicks.
Frustrated, I immediately deleted the post. My blog automatically links to Twitter and Facebook, so I went on Twitter and Facebook and deleted the links. One person had already “liked” the Facebook link.
Then, I realized that everyone who is subscribed gets it emailed to them automatically. And there is no undoing that.
Then I went of Facebook again, later, and there was ANOTHER link automatically posted. Multiple “likes.” One comment saying that it was a broken link, and the suspense was killing her.
Okay FINE. For those of you who desperately want to know what dumb unfinished draft was accidentally posted, here it is in all it’s glory:
It happened again. A new idea, shiny and bright and big, came barrelling into my brain, tossing her glossy hair and dominating all conversation.
I keep zoning out, completely missing my friends’ conversations, as I play around with plots in my head. More than anything, I want to start this book. This new book. Because surely this is the best new idea that ever existed.
But I’ve been ’round about this town before. And I know that while I’ve been gifted with gallons of ideas, I only have about half a teaspoon of follow through. Every new idea ends up the same way: a beginning. That’s all.
I’ve been working on a middle grade novel since this summer, and I’ve been trying so, so hard to keep going even when it feels boring and riddled with plot holes. “I can fix it in the second draft,” I tell myself. “
That’s it. An unfinished thought, ending with a quotation mark that has no quotation behind it.
Hope you’re happy now.
I’ll be over here having nightmares about old diary entries accidentally posting on my blog, or something.