My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:
A Strongly-Worded Letter

If you guys follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you may have noticed last week that I had a pretty rough time, technologically speaking.

For the past few months I have dedicated my free time to a project that is very near and dear to my heart. I spent hours shooting video, conducting interviews, gathering images, researching music, and piecing together a 7 minute promotional video for a ministry at our church.

Two weeks ago I made the mistake of sending the “completed” video to my brother who is a professional broadcaster. Basically, I was looking for a virtual pat on the back. His email back to me said, “Have you already submitted this to the church? I have a couple pages of notes if you’re interested in hearing them.”

My response to him was something along the lines of “Haha! Yeah, okay. What are your notes?”

I thought he would pull the whole, “There is something very important you need to change on this video . . . NOTHING AT ALL, SIS!”

And then we would laugh and laugh and laugh . . .

He responded, “Can I call you in 30 minutes?”

And then I got to thinking that maybe he wasn’t kidding about the notes.

Y’all, he wasn’t kidding about the notes.

I sat on the phone with my big brother for an HOUR while he critiqued my pet project. It felt like I was standing in that 360 degree mirror on the show What Not to Wear. You know, that show where the “fashion victim” stands in this mirrored box and explains why he/she chose to put together such a pitiful outfit. Meanwhile, the two professional stylists are outside the box stating the obvious.

“Like, scrunchies are soooooo not okay.”

(Seriously, though, I still wear scrunches. They just don’t always match my appliqué jumpers.)

Though I’m 100% in favor of constructive criticism, it’s never easy. And those who say they are totally comfortable with it probably loooooove colonoscopies as well.

But for the rest of us, feedback hurts.

I tried not to get defensive as I jotted down note after note after note . . .

“Thank you sir, may I have another?”

I managed to cough up a “thank you” before I hung up the phone and slammed my head down on my desk a few dozen times. Here I was 100% done with a project, and my brother just gave me another week’s worth of work to do.

The truth is that his feedback was incredibly beneficial. (But don’t tell him I said that or he’ll want me to pay him or something.)

So, although I thought I was completely done with the project, I put in another week of tweaking, cutting, finding additional footage, and doing all the work that most TV broadcasters can accomplish in a matter of hours.

Side note: I have a degree in broadcast journalism. And in my last semester at the University of Georgia, I realized just what I wanted to do with that degree. ANYTHING BUT BROADCAST JOURNALISM.

And it only cost my parents a small fortune. 

I was a few minor tweaks away from what I believed was a finished video product. And on a whim, I decided to save a full HD (high-definition) version of the video to my computer’s hard drive. This entire project was “parked” on an external hard drive that attaches to my MacBook Air. I don’t keep many files on my computer since it has a very small hard drive. So, for me to save a full HD version to my computer’s hard drive was totally out of the ordinary for me. And I really can’t explain why I did it at that moment with so few changes left to make.

After the version was saved, I continued to make minor changes. As I worked I noticed a large magnet sitting on my desk. It’s one of those desktop toy things that executives have . . . well, executives who don’t know any better.

The Magnet

As I went to move the magnet, it PICKED UP my external hard drive and proceeded to mangle the components inside of it. I knew immediately that something was wrong. It began to make a horrible scratching and churning sound that was similar to the sound that came out of my mouth when I realized what had happened.

Mere moments from completion of this very meaningful project, I completely removed all traces of it.

All except for that glorious, HD copy left on my hard drive.

I was too shocked to cry. I couldn’t believe how careless it was for me to even have that magnet on my desk! Since Brian is our resident Mr. Fix-It, he began to research our options. He made a few phone calls to places around Kansas City until we realized that it was going to cost us $2,000 to retrieve the contents of that hard drive. One computer guy Brian spoke to said something about needing a “clean” room where they could open the hard drive. Apparently it’s expensive to find clean rooms around here.

Don’t I know it!

The great news in all of this is that the ministry leaders are happy with the final product, and I don’t have to write a strongly-worded letter to the executive desk toy manufacturer. Though, I already had a pretty solid rough draft on my company letterhead.

Strongly-Worded Letter
I was going to send it to my brother to get his feedback.

In not-at-all-unrelated news, Brian decided to sign us up with an online backup company called CrashPlan. I’ll let you know how we like it.

Do you have an online backup service you love?


Comments to "My Brother, The Magnet, and a Strongly-Worded Letter"

  1. Stephanie

    March 25, 2014

    Somehow, you still manage to handle a horrible situation with levity! Love! 🙂
    If you don’t like your back-up service, try Carbonite. We’ve had it for years & love it. About 2 years ago, my (old) laptop crashed and it had ALL of my photos & videos (wedding, kids, etc) on it. Thanks to Carbonite, I recovered everything. One note (I’m not sure if CrashPlan is the same way), you have to physically select to back-up your videos (by right-clicking on each one). It will automatically back up all other documents – photos, WORD, Excel, etc.

    • Katy in a Corner

      March 25, 2014

      Thanks, Stephanie! We actually signed up for Carbonite, but Brian went with CrashPlan since they seemed to have better support for external hard drives and Mac computers. Also Carbonite charges for external hard drives (we have about 10), and CrashPlan allowed them for free. So far, we really like it.

  2. Shana

    March 25, 2014


    1. You seriously owe Drew a game of golf. You knew he would find something to fix. And by ‘something’, I mean almost everything. 😀

    2. Kids’ toys are meant to destroy things. I learned this the hard way. -_-

    3. Blank CDs or DVDs are very cheap and work wonders for backing up files. Trust your resident nerd on this one. You can use a company if you wish but I could not recommend a company to you. 🙂

    • Katy in a Corner

      March 25, 2014

      1) My brother likes to play expensive golf courses. Maybe I’ll buy him a value meal at Sonic.
      2) Sadly, this was not a kids’ toy. It was a grown-up toy. 🙂
      3) Truthfully, a DVD wouldn’t have occurred to me since I have no CD drive on my computer. I would have had to plug my external into my OTHER computer and then back it up. Which probably wouldn’t have been that difficult now that I think about it. WHERE WERE YOU LAST WEEK? 😉

  3. Drew

    March 25, 2014

    One MAJOR piece of information not included in this blog! ALL of my notes were about editing and the like. I made a BIG point to tell you I loved the content, writing, and emotion included in the piece. That didn’t need any editorial improvements at all. I just added a few bells and whistles to make it a little sharper video wise. I feel obligated to include that since it was so conveniently excluded from the play-by-play. Katy, you do a GREAT job with all of your projects and I would never try and dismiss your hard work. I’m sorry my NOTES caused you such consternation and headache. Next time I will pull the ‘nothing is wrong sis’ trick! You are so very talented in so many diverse ways I cannot begin to list them all here. You are doing exactly what the Lord has prepared you to do in this season of life and you are doing it better than you even know. I love you! I can’t wait to see what you send my way next time!!! If there is a NEXT time!!!

    • Katy in a Corner

      March 25, 2014

      Oh, sweet brother. You know there will be a next time. I give you a hard time, but your notes were incredibly helpful. All two pages of them. 🙂 I love you and appreciate you more than you know. And now I’m forced to buy you a round of golf or something since Shana said so.

  4. Monica

    March 25, 2014

    Okay – I now have tears in my eyes after reading that sweet reply from said brother. AAAWWWW!
    So glad God had blessed you with a miraculous moment in saving your video. Just a reminder that He’s always, always watching out for us. 🙂

  5. Susan Hinesley

    March 25, 2014

    Love MOZY. And I can access all my files on any device or computer. I have had it for years.

    • Katy in a Corner

      March 28, 2014

      We considered MOZY back when it was unlimited storage, but they’ve changed that since. We would have to pay $1,000 a month for the amount of photos and videos we need to store. We went with CrashPlan since it’s affordable for unlimited storage.


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