New Year’s Resolution: Save Your Stuff

Years ago, I had the beginnings of what eventually became my first published novel (among other things) on a netbook. It was one of the very first netbooks that company made and when it stopped working (suddenly, without warning, as is always the case), I found it was so old school (the memory card had a ribbon) that the computer tech guys I brought it to would shake their heads and quote astronomical prices to “try” to recover the data.

I couldn’t justify spending that kind of money on files that had no monetary value. In fact, they had no value of any kind to anyone but me.

So I rewrote what I could remember and grieved for the rest. Even now that the book’s been published, I long to have those older files back, imagining they might have been better.

Don’t let this happen to you. Save your stuff.

Put it on a jump drive, email yourself copies, store it in a cloud device, print out a copy. It’s good to do this on a regular basis, several times a year, but I thought we could all use an annual reminder.

Since I try to be someone who takes their own advice, I’m going to go do this right now. You should too.

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5 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolution: Save Your Stuff

  1. This is a really important tip! I’ve got my writing on my hard drive as well as on two external hard drives. I’m actually looking into an automated cloud-connected backup solution, but haven’t found one I’m pleased with yet. Do you have any tools you like to use for this process?

  2. I just emailed myself my book. Thanks for the reminder!!

  3. Thanks for the reminder – I back up to a second computer and also to that of a close friend. Maxine Hong Kingston wrote The Fifth Book of Peace based on her experience to returning home to find her Oakland neighborhood afire. She lost her home and her current WIP, always wondering what she might have missed from the original work had she been able to save it.

  4. couldn’t agree more!

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