The Importance of Backing up Your Stuff

The blue screen of death. 

There is nothing quite like it to inspire fear in the hearts of even the most seasoned writers. 

I am in the middle of all sorts of deadlines -- book deadlines, work deadline, stuff for Missy's school deadlines...

On Saturday my laptop crashed.  Bad. 


Yeah. Insert panic attack here. 

Fortunately, I'd backed up all my writing files only hours before. I also have a backup laptop I can work on until mine is fixed to avert any deadline related disaster and preserve my sanity.

I have to admit, I am not very good at backing things up, and it was a stroke of luck that I'd backed up that morning.  You'd think after I lost two very prolific weeks of work in 2008 I'd have learned my lesson, but really, unless I'm drafting, I'm not good at remembering...and really, saving those edits is just as important, especially when cutting 8k...

Backing up your files is *really* important.  It can be as simple as using a zip drive or a portable hardrive.  Some people email it to a special account they only use for that purpose.  Some people have remote backup systems. 

But none of them work if you don't *remember* to backup your files (okay, unless you have remote backup you automatically program to back everything up). 

Nevertheless, you still should back up your files not just in case of a computer crash, but for other disasters, like it being stolen, dropped, or covered in grape slushy.  Figure out what you can handle and do it.  Often. you have a backup plan? 

Because everything is fun and games until you get the blue screen of death. 


Jeannie G said...

I learned a long time ago the need to back up my files, not only on my computer, but I also e-mail the file to myself and I have a flash drive. said...

I purchased Carbonite on the advice of my editor a few months back. It's a service that automatically backs up all of your files several times per day. Boy am I glad I got it, because last month my computer died. I purchased a new one and, lo and behold, that one crashed last week and had to be sent to the manufacturer for repair. So yeah, Carbonite has been my lifeline through all this computer drama.