One of the lessons folk learn is that keeping our files safe is up to us still. Now if you had turned on W10's File History feature then we may not have this discussion.
It's built into Windows. Read https://www.pcworld.com/article/2974385/windows/how-to-use-windows-10s-file-history-backup-feature.html
That said, my old school method when writing a long paper was to save it as a new name as the doc grew. Today I can use file history or my other backup methods.
If you didn't keep backups, the file is assuredly gone for good. Also, did you ever email it or print it out?
PS. Edited for spelling error.
So I have been working on something in WordPad (not MS Word or any other software) in a .rtf format. It was pretty long last night, but today I go to open it and it is blank. It says the file has 0 KB. I am using a Windows 10 laptop if that means anything.
I don't know what to do. Can I get my work back? How?