Pep Talk: Surviving A Setback

I’d been working on a manuscript for almost a year and a half. When my home computer crashed, I began using the public library’s computers. One fateful day, an inattentive employee deleted my entire book. With no back up, there was nothing anyone could do. Not only was I in shock, I cried. What remedy is there for something like this occurring?
–D. D. Lee, Via fax

I empathize with your unfortunate experience. We have all been there before: investing time and effort toward something, be it a job, project, or relationship, and without warning it is snatched from under you like a rug. “You have to give yourself time to catch your breath and realize what has happened,” says life coach and author Valorie Burton. Don’t dwell on the situation, but rather learn from it, ensuring it doesn’t happen again in any area of your life. “It’s about protecting the things that are valuable to you,” Burton says.

We both agree it is imperative that you muster the strength to do what seems like the impossible right now: Start over. Your gumption and determination will be needed for you to finish what you have started.

Burton’s CD series, Destined to Write (; $95) provides steps to writing a book as well as getting it published. Check out her books: What’s Really Holding You Back? (Random House; $13.99) and her latest, Why Not You? 28 Days to Build Authentic Confidence (Random House; $13.99).

On a practical note, consider using a portable USB flash drive to store and/or back up your work.

Mail your motivational questions to Pep Talk, BLACK ENTERPRISE
130 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011 or send an e-mail to