#2—Put your head between your knees and try to take slow deep breaths. Indeed, this will help you stop panicking. If you do it for several hours and your mother-in-law does not witness it.
#3—Recall what back-up provisions you’ve made. If you have no back-up system, go back to #1 and repeat steps one and two until able to call a friend to come and remove all sharp objects from your writing area. Then go directly to step #8.
#4—OK, you have backed up your manuscript. Do NOT let yourself feel cocky at this point. It's still possible you will have lost your most recent work. You have a dead computer in front of you and you really need to get it working again. Do not call tech support. An hour on hold in this situation could result in severe property damage.
#5—Do not use your smart phone to google your error message and try to understand the sixteen different posts telling you how to fix the problem. If you could fix this problem, you would not be a writer, you would be a computer engineer earning a steady living at a much higher standard.
#6—Do not use your teenager's computer to “chat” with tech support. You will spend 47-minutes and 23-seconds speaking with a robot who will eventually tell you to take your computer to a store in your area and get it fixed. Plus, you will see things on your teenager’s computer that you will wish you had never seen and that you will never be able to forget.
#7—Do not click on System Restore. You might think you know what the word “restore” means, but trust me, if you knew anything about system restore…well, go back and re-read #5.
#8—Do not make any important decisions in the next 24-hours. Do not hit anything with a sledge hammer. Do not throw anything out the window. Do not harm yourself or someone you love. Do not take up a new career. Do not consider taking the social security number of someone in the cemetery, committing identity theft and moving to Tahiti. Your mother-in-law will still find you, plus want to move in permanently.
#9—What? You forgot this is a post about what NOT to do? You thought this post would retrieve your manuscript? You thought I would tell you about some magical back-up you didn’t know you had? No.
But if you can do any of these, please get in touch immediately at 555-1212. Or leave a comment below. I'm standing by at my teenager's computer.
Thanks to WindowErrorHelps for the image.