Stevie Mach

Writer, creative, general good guy… with mild OCD

Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick, Slow

man at computer editing manuscripts

When I was younger, I would go into serious bouts of creative writing. At periods I wrote something every day. The writing accumulated, lyrics, poetry, songs, short stories, and a novel, until I had boxes of paper everywhere. Of course, not all of this writing was good, some was crap, some was experimental stuff I did but grew bored off, and much was exercise stuff I did for various writer’s workshops. Nevertheless, some of it did have merit, and occasionally I would go through my piles of creative output and decide what to bin and what to save.

Why Back Up Your Data?

Eventually, I had one box of stuff that I thought to keep and try to get published sometime, and I also had backups on various floppy discs of my Amstrad 5812.

Then I stopped writing for a while. Distractions like a new romantic relationship, or a serious bout of binge drinking would get in the way. Weeks went by, then months, and like a habit broken, the inclination to write began to come less and less. Actual years of my life went by like this.

To cut a long story short, around 1993 I began to write again. This was, If I remember correctly when I started to finally write my second novel. It was also the year I was made redundant, so for a while I had plenty of time on my hands. During this time, I also moved house a few times, and misplaced or accidently binned some of my writing. But not too much of a worry for I had backups on floppy discs.

Don’t Back Up Your Data on Obsolete Media

The thing was, though, that the standard floppy disc of the time was now 3.5-inch, whereas the Amstrad floppies were 3-inch. It was then that I realised much of my writing, although backed up, was on a medium I could no longer use. The Amstrad was gone, I had a Tandy laptop at that time, and the floppy drive was a 3.5-inch.

I attended a summer school at Glasgow University that year, and while there approached the computer department and they transferred my 3-inch discs to 3.5-inch floppies. The files transferred over ok to the new medium, but in the process many of them were corrupted. I had some writing previously printed out in a box, and some on the new floppies I could open and print off, but most of the writing on the discs were indecipherable if they even would open. It was setback at the time.

The Importance of Several Backups

What was lost, was lost, that was it, nothing more to do. I could maybe have got in touch with some tech company that may have been able to restore the corrupt files, but that cost money, and in reality, apart from a romantic notion that some of that writing was a great loss to the world, I moved on; I lost, the world lost, though both of us survived intact. One of us was also more cautious of keeping backups in future!

The Flow of Writing

I did start writing again around then, but it was haphazard, stop start writing. Real life always got in the way, so for years the process of writing was what I would call, slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. I would write something, then break off for a period, then get back into it, with a determined notion to finish what I had started. I would write furiously for a few days, or even a week, then my output would diminish again, or even grind to a halt.

I did, and still do, envy writers that can make a living from what they write, and therefore their only day job is to write more. To have that luxury would be fine and rewarding, and I’m sure if that was the case most amateur writers would produce far higher standards of writing that would appeal to more readers.

The Spread of the World Wide Web

During this period, the internet began to become immensely popular, and everyday people were beginning to sign up with internet service providers to access the internet at home. I began to have ideas of publishing all my writing online, but I was still pretty ignorant of the internet and websites and such, but I did begin to have ideas. It would take a long time though for these ideas to come to fruition.

If you visit my homepage,, you will see a list of my books for sale. If you do take a chance and purchase one, if you enjoy it, please leave a review, it will be greatly appreciated.

Featured image at top of the page AI generated.


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