God help you if you are a phoenix / and you dare to rise up from the ash …
~~Ani Difranco, 32 Flavors
Rise Of The Phoenix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On Sunday, February 26, 2012, my dear blog labbydog.ca was hacked, necessitating, in the opinion of the hosting service on which she lived, a complete deletion of all materials. Even if I’d have been savvy enough to back up, those files would also have been suspect and deleted. It was a dark day.
The light at the end of the tunnel
It was a dark week, truthfully. Labbydog.ca was also the mail server for me, my husband Phil, and my mom. It took a couple of days just to get everything re-established after the wipe. Phil is a computer genius though, or as a friend of ours once said, an ass in jeans (a fine one, admittedly), and email was restored in short order.
I had some of my materials saved as Word .docx files, but by no means all of them. How to rebuild? More importantly, where to rebuild? I wasn’t about to trust my next effort to the same hosting service, who essentially blamed me and my importation of add-ons and plug-ins (A.K.A. “scripts”), intended to protect my blog, for its very destruction. I investigated each one and only downloaded them after the recommendation of an online guru. So what was I going to do?
I considered my options. Both blogger and WordPress allow the importation of domains, and thanks to Robert Lee Brewer’s excellent advice, I had purchased melaniemarttila.ca in January. It was my intent to move my blog to the new domain in February or March in any event, which is why I (oh-so-foolishly) hadn’t backed labbydog.ca up.
Robert, you saved my virtual ass, and my online sanity. Thank you. There are no words.
Getting back on the horse
I mucked around with blogger for a day or two, but I really didn’t want to start entirely from scratch. I liked WordPress, was comfortable with the admin portal and the intuitive interface. So I started a new blog on WordPress, transferred my domain, mapped it, and prepared to wade back into the blogging fray.
No use crying over spilled milk
I was seriously depressed, but the disease is an old frenemy, and I know how to deal with him. The bottom line is that I can’t worry about things I have no control over. I have to focus on the things I can affect in a positive way.
Depression and writing:
People have asked me since the dreadful day, “Why?” Why indeed would anyone want to hack my innocuous wee blog? I wasn’t particularly controversial. I didn’t have a lot of followers. It’s not like they were taking down some corporate mogul, or politician, or even a celebrity. So yeah, I’d like an answer to that one too. Why?
Wishing won’t make it so
You’ll have to track down the hacker and ask his or her maliciousness yourselves. Quite likely, the culprit is not even a person, but some hack-bot, a lackey bit of code sent out to do its vile master’s bidding. So why?
The short answer is: because she or he could.
Hacking, trolling, griefing, phishing, propagating malware, and other acts of online evil are all about bullying and the abuse of power. You deal with it the same way you deal with any other kind of abuse, you speak up, share your story, and hope to hell you save someone else by your sad example.
I will share Wil Wheaton’s online motto here: Don’t be a dick!
[Wom]an with a plan
Labbydog.ca 2.0 = Writerly Goodness on melaniemarttila.ca.
From here on out, I’m saving everything I post in Word. Once I have Writerly Goodness up and running, I will institute a back up routine.
When was the last time you backed up your blog, novel, training course design, or insert anything you’ve spent a lot of hours doing here? Don’t procrastinate any further: save your work. Now. Go ahead, I’ll wait …
[W]e can rebuild [her]. We have the technology … Better than [s]he was before. Better, stronger, faster.
~~The Six Million Dollar Man, 1974
So yeah, I’m going to go back to the drawing board. I’m going to repost as much as I can remember of what I used to have on labbydog.ca, but I’m going to do it better (I hope). For example, ‘My history as a so-called writer’ isn’t just going to be self-serving or shamefully confessional. I’m going to try to put in some meat for the writerly. I’m going to try to answer the questions: why should I care, and what’s in it for me? I’m hoping for some serious takeaway action.
A weekly schedule should give the project some structure: different categories on different days.
I’m trying to learn/do/create/be better. And I’d appreciate it if you’d let me know how I’m doing.
Never say ‘die’
The takeaway here: in writing, as in everything, if you love what you’re doing, you can’t give up. You won’t be able to. Sometimes, though, you might need a little help.
Some curation, and maybe inspiration:
What have you had to overcome to do what you’re passionate about? Ever felt like a phoenix rising from the ash?
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