A few years ago, a dear writer friend lost not only everything she owned in a house fire, she lost several manuscripts in various stages of completion. While I haven’t ever experienced this kind of loss, I once overwrote a floppy disk containing a novel one too many times and it failed completely. There may be 50 ways to leave your lover (sorry, Paul Simon!) but there are also at least 50 ways to lose your data.
Writing Tip for Today: Your writing may be backed up by an external hard drive, a flash drive or three or you may back up on the Web. The most common problem writers have with backups is that they forget to back up.
- Avoid this forgetfulness by investing in an external hard drive that backs up automatically.
- If you cannot afford one of the online back-up systems, try a trick a well-known author uses: at the end of her writing session, she emails the work to herself at an online inbox such as hotmail, google or yahoo.
- Put up a sign on your office door that reads, “Did you remember to back up?”
- Some writers keep flash drives in their cars.
- I always try to keep a hard copy of my work somewhere. It’s not that I don’t trust electronics, OK it IS that I don’t trust them. We’re all one power outage away from losing our babies. Hard copies may be old-fashioned, but they’ll survive a black or brown out. If that happens, let’s hope there isn’t a fire.