Friday, March 25, 2011

The Gone is File!

Has it happened to you?  Hard drive crash?  Inadvertent delete?  Laptop stolen?
Fortunately (yeah, right), I've only ever had two of those things happen to me.  It can really mix you up (thus today’s mixed-up title).
Today's blog is more general computer advice, but it applies to writing inasmuch as you don't want to lose all your hard work.
I'm a computer guy by trade, so I know that backups are important.  And yet, I've still had hard drive crashes mess me up.  I have two desktops and a laptop.  I have three external "backup" hard drives.  I have a 4GB thumb drive.  Luckily, I haven't lost any writing projects, but I have lost music and video files that I had for years.  That's what convinced me to shell out the money for an online backup service.  I hope this doesn't sound like a commercial, but even with all of those backup devices, I rarely did the backups myself.  So, to have it automatically done twice a day is a major stress relief.  Plus, we're all busy.  To manually do a backup, even on just our 'super-mega-important' files would take valuable minutes out of every day (or as often as we'd actually do it).
But, if you can't bring yourself to pay for an online backup service, at the very least, backup to another device (thumb drive, external hard drive, CD/DVD Rom) as often as you make major changes.  If your computer dies, you'll be glad you still have your darling poems, short stories, novels, articles, or whatever, and you'll really be saying, "TGIF!"  (Or at least, "Thank Goodness!")
As another word of advice, save, and save often.  I tell people where I work to save every five or ten minutes or after you do a bunch of work (bunch being a very technical term).  If you want to have multiple revisions available to look back upon, use save-as.  But, power fluctuations, hitting the wrong key...many things can happen to your current document.  If you just saved it and something messes it up, close it without saving and open the saved copy.
May your writing be good and your files in good hands.
Thanks for stopping by.


  1. When a computer backs up. Is it supposed to go "beep" "beep" "beep"?
    I thought TGIF meant Try Getting It Fixed!

  2. Yes, back-ups are always a VERY good idea!
    Congrats on having your picture book manuscript selected for review by Jean.
    If you would like information about bringing your picture books to mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad, please get in touch - or @picpocketbooks on Twitter.