by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig
Every so often, I run a variation of the same post. It’s a public service announcement to back up your work.
I have heard so many horror stories from writers about lost work that I truly believe their stories account for the white hairs I have cropping up.
The most harrowing tale is from long ago. Hemingway lost months of work because his wife, who was bringing the stories (and, sadly, also the carbon copies) to him in Switzerland. She left the overnight bag unattended to get water before the train pulled out. When she returned, the bag, and his work, were gone. More about this episode here on the Hemingway Project site (including a recorded interview with his wife, Hadley, on the subject).
I back up each day. I write on a laptop and the laptop takes a lot of abuse. This summer, especially, I’ve been writing away from home…and I’m a very clumsy person. The laptop has been dropped several times lately and spilled on once.
How should you back up your work? I don’t think writers should overthink it. It needs to be easy enough to make it something that you actually do. You could even email yourself a copy of the document. You could upload it to Google docs. Save it to a flash drive that you keep on your keyring. The point is just to do it.
If you’re not sure what method works best for you, Sarah Mitroff has a nice overview in her post for CNet (which also mentions the importance of backing up your work to more than one place.)
How often do you back up your work? What methods do you use?A PSA: Back Up Your Work: Click To Tweet
Photo via Visual Hunt