Project gone

Opened my project in Scrivener and all that shows up is the tutorial.
All of my work, three years worth, 180,000+ words is gone. I have looked at the .rdf files and each one is just a piece of the tutorial. All of my writing is gone.

I am crying.

I saved religiously while working. Why would this happen? Where is my work? Please someone help me. Please.

Do you see your project listed if you open Scrivener and then choose File > Recent Projects?

Do you see your project listed if you open Scrivener and then choose File > Find All Projects In Spotlight?

Also, open Scrivener > Preferences > Backup > Open backup folder… and check to see if you have got backups of your project.

You might also have additional backups if you have a system backup strategy, such as Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner.

Slàinte mhòr.

JORO has good advice on what you should try. I’m sure it’s all there, Scrivener just didn’t re-open your project automatically for you.

How precisely do you save? I ask because Scrivener automatically saves all your edits/writing when you pause for 2 seconds. There’s usually nothing to save. But I’m pretty sure that people who use File->Save As to “save” or “back up” sometimes make the mistake of editing the copy they mean to use as a milestone backup. When the re-open their “main” project file after a night’s editing in the “backup” copy, they mistakenly believe that their other writing is lost, when it’s sitting safely in that backup.

I don’t think that’s what you did, since you’re missing all of your work, not just a portion of it, but if you’re doing something specific to “save” your project, and JORO’s suggestions don’t turn anything up, then posting what you do to save (precise menu item, or which toolbar button you press, or…) would be helpful.

I know this is a panic inducing scenario, but I’m sure your writing is safe on your drive, barring some other systematic disaster that would be affecting all sort of other files on your Mac. Good luck.

It is because of scary moments like this you really want to consciously choose and know where you store your project files on your computer’s drive. When something scary like this happens, your first move would then be to go to the actual project file and double click to open it.

By the way, why did you look inside the tutorial project file for the RTFs of your stuff? Were you doing your writing inside the tutorial project?