|Photo by Stuart Pilbrow, via Flickr|
Her experience reminded me of a story I once read about Ernest Hemingway. (I don’t know how true it is, because of course I didn’t actually know Ernest Hemingway, but truth or fantasy, the message of the story is the same.) Anyway, the story goes like this:
Hemingway had just finished a novel, and packaged up the only copy and gave it to his then-wife. This was way before computers, and maybe even carbon paper – or Hemingway didn’t feel like using carbon paper, I don’t know. Anyway it was the only copy. He asked his wife to mail it to his publisher in New York, while he went off to chase the bulls in Pamplona or something. Well, his wife got on the train to Paris, taking the novel with her and meaning to post it to New York once she got to Paris – but she had a brain fart and left it on the train! It was never recovered. Hemingway could not write it again – he had finished with it. All he could do was grieve and feel this bottomless pit of empty.
When I read this story I got the cold chills and icy sweats from horror. I felt Hemingway’s grief within my own soul. I mourned for that lost novel. I was absolutely furious with his wife, and wished she was alive so I could shriek my pain at her.
I sometimes dream about finding that lost Hemingway novel … which would probably be worth tens of millions of dollars today. Back in the 1920s he would maybe have made a couple thousand, if he was lucky. I still wonder where that novel is.
The moral of Hemingway’s story, and my friend’s, is of course – BACKUP! Never, ever, forget.
Or you’ll be sorry, and so will your millions of fans.
|Kim Pearson is an author, ghostwriter, and owner of Primary Sources, a writing service that helps others become authors of professional and compelling books and articles. She has authored 6 books of her own, and ghostwritten more than 30 non-fiction books and memoirs. To learn more about her books or services, visit Primary-Sources.com.|