See that little progress bar? (And a bit about excuses)

I'm going to begin tracking my progress through "The Sometimes Sword" third draft here on this blog. It might be kind of (horribly) innacurate to begin with as I figure out how to break the work into percentages, but hopefully it will assist in keeping me motivated.

Yesterday was supposed to be the third day of significant progress in the 3rd draft, but unfortunately the evening didn't turn out as I planned. First off, I neglected to actually schedule a particular chunk of work on my calendar (I myself am surprised at how much a difference this makes). That alone shouldn't have really stopped me, but then a few other things popped up. But first, some back story.

On Tuesday the 20th, my World of Warcraft account was hacked. What this means is that a person or persons unknown gained access to my password by means of a keylogger program (malicious software that records keystrokes such as passwords and usernames). They were then able to log onto my game from somewhere (China most likely) and steal my character's gold and gear, which they then sell on the internet for real-world money. 

Keep in mind this isn't Call of Duty. I have developed these characters over the course of two years, and starting over isn't really an option for me. So the thought of losing them is really, really sucky. This is a relatively common occurrence for World of Warcraft subscribers, as it is a very popular game, and the demand for easy (illegal) access to in-game gold has become a multi-billion dollar industry world wide. There is a process for recovering lost items and characters, but it takes a while. Anyway, the whole process of getting this fixed and receiving my in-game property back is still in the works (not without hiccups), and it's been a huge stress.

This all leads to the biggest reason I didn't write yesterday. Above I mentioned keyloggers. The scary thing is that World of Warcraft isn't the only thing they can hack. Anything I log onto can be recorded by a keylogger without me ever knowing: online banking, email, college records, tax records, etc. Now, Macs (the kind of computer I use) are a bit less susceptible to attacks from malicious software than Windows based PCs, but it still happens. The thing is, there aren't as many ways to clean Macs off (and as any tech savvy person knows, anti-virus software can be almost as bad as the viruses they are supposed to prevent), so I decided to perform a complete OS (operating system) restoration. This means that I had to back everything on my hard drive up (about 650 gigs worth of music, photos, and most importantly, documents for my books) which took 5.5 hours. Then wipe the system clean, and re-install the OS once more. (This was actually kinda nice, if annoying, as my system had slowed down a lot over the last 2 years, and it needed to be cleaned anyway, but still....)

I won't bore you with all the details of re-installing the OS, but the bottom line is that I was up way too late copying files over by hand onto my (practically) new computer. In the long run, it will be nice to have a fresh slate to work on my computer with, but I admit I obsessed over it too much (watching progress bars do their thing for a half hour at a time, etc.) 

So tonight I have extra work to do in order to catch up, and hopefully I'll even go above and beyond, and really get some nitty-gritty stuff taken care of in my book. When it comes down to it, I regret having made the excuse (even though it was important).

What about you? What excuses do you make for not writing, and how do you think you'll overcome them?


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