A lesson learned; or, an exercise in paranoid obsessive-compulsion

Eric Burns reminded me today that National Novel Writing Month is coming. (NaNoWriMo, a truncation worthy of the Japanese language!)

So. Should I do it?

I am really, really upset over losing what little I wrote about Tilya and the Mazarins. I mean, there is an infinitesimal chance that the demo guys will rake through the rubble and pluck out my hard drive, and that my writing will still be on it. But ultimately, it’s probably best to just accept that it’s lost. And the thing is, it didn’t have to be.

I was publishing the book online. It was readily available. It could have been Google-cached, or stored on the Internet Archive.

But I got skittish. I didn’t want the blog to be the “first publication” of the book, because I “might” try to get it published, and people familiar with the publishing world indicated that publishers don’t like sloppy seconds.

In other words, I wanted to protect the publishing rights for something I hadn’t even written yet.

There’s a cliche for that sort of thing, you know. It involves chickens.

If I’d left it public, I’d still have it. And you know, just because I’ve “published” it doesn’t mean a publisher won’t still be interested. There are many people who’ve been published because of their blogs.

What all this is boiling down to is: should I once again attempt a serious writing project, I will do it publicly, on a blog. Rather than bank on something that may or may not happen in the distant future, I will share my work immediately, and get feedback, and ensure that if this house burns down with all my stuff in it, at least what I’ve written will survive.