I just read a blog post by one writer whose toddler destroyed his computer. His life’s work was completely lost. Then one of my writing friends recently told me she lost a new story she was working on. It disappeared somewhere into a digital vortex of Office Online.
I keep a file of drafts that I save for future blog posts and short stories. Sometimes I don’t decide to work on them for years. I’ve gone back to look for them to discover they’ve disappeared at some point. By that time it’s too late to troubleshoot what happened. All the clues are long gone.
We know we should save copies of our writing in multiple places. We just get complacent and lazy.
We don’t think a major loss will happen to us. We figure we’ll wait till we get to the final draft before we start backing up.
But it’s not like the olden days when all writers had a hard copy on paper. Our digital words are intangible and vulnerable to the slightest glitch or failure.
It only takes a few minutes to make sure you never lose any of your writing.
Tips for Backing Up Your Writing:
- Have your computer synced to a cloud storage service. Instead of using the browser version, download the desktop app so that copies of your writing files are saved simultaneously to your hard drive and the cloud. I use Dropbox, which keeps updated copies of my work on all of my hardware. If one goes down, it will be on one of my other devices as well as online.
- Email copies of your manuscript to yourself and leave them in your inbox.
- Save drafts to an external drive.
- Save often as you write or set your word processor to auto-save.
The best tip for backing up your writing is:
set up your system now.
Don’t wait till you lose your precious words to take action.
Have you ever lost work?