Is Your Writing Fire Proof?

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.

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

6 comments on “Is Your Writing Fire Proof?

  1. External hard drives can die also. Carbonite, an online system, is only $59/per year. You will never lose anything again, ever.
    Blessings, Dee

  2. Thanks, Linda. We all need this kind of reminder. Busy, busy lives & sometimes we forget the essentials.
    Once again, my thanks for your substantive evaluation of my ms.

  3. I back up after every session of writing on to a flash drive (or two), then every other month or so I download all my work onto another flash drive and drop it off at my mother’s. She loves how I fill up her desk with flash drives. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I like the emailing myself idea…I’ll have to try that. And I’m also a big believer in hard copies…thus the shelves of binders filled with stories…Thanks Linda


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