My tale begins one sunny summer afternoon about 6 months ago, roughly 3 months into the creation of this blog. I had just completed a post. I don't recall which one exactly, but it may well have been a Feast post because that series was in full swing at the time. I was sitting at my dining room table. I had just pressed the "Publish" button. Now I don't know about you, but I always get butterflies just before I press that button. I don't know why. You'd think that after 9 months of blogging the mixed feeling of nausea, nerves and utter excitement, that "high" that occurs at publication time, would have waned a little. But it hasn't. It's still there, strong as ever. And it was there that day too.
And as always, the first thing I do once I've published, is to check that everything is good with the post. It never is. There is always some glaring error to be found when I do my check after publication. Always always.
So on that day, 6 months ago, when I went to check my post, I was a little irked when up popped a message from Blogger that said something like: "You have incorrectly entered the blog url. That blog does not exist."
Funny, I thought to myself, I didn't even "enter" my blog url, I just pressed the link that Blogger provides on the "Your-post-has-published-successfully" page. What's going on?
So I tried entering my blog url. Same message.
What followed is something that I do not wish on my worst blogging enemy. It went something like this.
- An attempt to remain calm.
- A stoic search for Michele Made Me in every possible way my non-technical brain knows how to search the web.
- The realization that I had never backed up my blog.
- A groundswell of tears.
- A desperate search for others on the web who'd undergone this same thing. This was horrifying, as it is - from what I learned that day - relatively common for blogs to disappear into the ether never to be seen again.
- An unstoppable flow of tears.
- The realization that ALL that work was gone.
- Inconsolable sobbing on the kitchen floor.
- Desperate emails to Blogger Help to see if they could do ANYTHING followed by zero helpful replies.
- A growing hillock of soggy tissues on the kitchen floor.
- The realization that the universe was trying to tell me that blogging was NOT to be.
- The realization that I wasn't good enough or smart enough to be a blogger.
- The realization that I didn't DESERVE the happiness that blogging was bringing me.
(#11-13 are bollocks by the way. But I was in full-on self-pity mode at the time, and that is what arose in my crazed head. I was subsequently given a stern talking-to by Lo to NEVER think these things about myself. EVER! He's my man.)
And then Lo came home. I hadn't told him. He took one look at me, and instantly asked in his quiet and concerned way: "What's wrong Mich?"And I couldn't reply... I was beside myself. I just collapsed in his arms and eventually whispered: "I lost my blog".
Followed by a flood of tears. Again.
And then Lo put on his all-business technical hat and started playing around on the computer. He sat there working for quite some time. He found all the same stuff I'd found. The Blogger Help forums with stories of lost blogs. "This blog does not exist". No Michele Made Me. Nothing. I was defeated.
And then about 6 hours after it disappeared... It came back... Just like that... As if by magic... No explanations. No reasons. But there it was.
That was 6 months ago. But it is a moment that is etched in my brain forever, and leads to this little tidbit of advice from me to you:
BACKUP YOUR BLOG.
The alternative is pure, unadulterated blogger hell. And my blog was only lost for 6 hours. Imagine losing EVERYTHING FOREVER? Well... That ain't happening! I've learned my lesson. I back it up regularly.
Just google "How to back up your blog" and you're sure to find the right information for your blog!
Edited to Add:
Read the comments. You will find one by Rebecca, a blogger who recently lost her blog. And then take a few minutes to backup your blog, please.
Now go have yourself a great day!
[Featuring Scott, my In-Laws' dependable concrete pooch, and "Kept in Stitches", the scrappy kaleidoscope quilt I made 2 yrs ago for my In-Laws' 40th Wedding anniversary, machine-pieced and hand-quilted by me.]