If your computer crashes and you’ve lost everything…you’re not alone. Creatives renown and unknown have all been there and all of us have found a way to move on.

In December of 1999, U2 frontman Bono lost a laptop containing the lyrics to all of the songs that would become All That You Can’t Leave Behind. Bono told the press, “Everything I’ve written since August was on this and I hadn’t backed up any of it – so I would really have been a goner. This is like my portable brain.” Fortunately, that story has a happy ending. Bono’s laptop was eventually returned by a fan, but many of us can connect with the despair of losing our portable brain.

In some cases, a backup isn’t possible. One quirky note from the career of John Steinbeck, Steinbeck’s dog actually mauled an early draft of his manuscript for Of Mice and Men, forcing Steinbeck to re-write the novel again from scratch. Steinbeck appears to have taken it pretty well.

Read David Burkus’ complete 99U article and don’t panic next time something gets deleted or you spill coffee on your laptop. Burkus is the author of The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas.