Sunday, May 16, 2010

It's 10 p.m. Do you know where your WIP is?

This is Jim, Dawn's husband. Dawn asked me to do a short follow-up post reminding you to back up your work.

Here are some ways you can lose your work:


*power surge or electricity outage

*computer viruses (as opposed to human bugs which can slow down your WIP...)

*software or operating system becomes corrupt

*hardware failure - hard drive fails and you can't recover the file

*theft of your computer - 600,000 to a million laptops are stolen each year

*your dog eats your WIP (I'm waiting for this one - our Whippets already have a taste for Netflix DVDs!)


(Please note: this is a reenactment. No DVDs were harmed in the making of this post.)

Remember your backup plan should have three levels:


*Level I: Ensure Microsoft Word AutoRecovery is enabled - every five minutes is a good rule of thumb.

*Level II: Create a backup copy of your WIP (and other related files) - back up daily to a different computer or hard drive.

*Level III: Create a disaster recovery copy of your WIP - store in a fireproof box, a safe deposit box, or another physical location.


If that doesn't scare you, imagine the alternative: following your dog around the backyard. Or even worse (?), starting all over again.

19 comments:

Stephanie Thornton said...

I would die if I had to start all over. Okay, maybe not die, but I would throw a major temper tantrum. It wouldn't be pretty.

I email my WIP to myself every ten pages or so. I burn CD copies too.

Dawn Simon said...

Stephanie, I am right there with you. My reaction definitely wouldn't be pretty. It's good you back up your work!

Tabitha Bird said...

I send copies of my WIP to my husbands computers and my Beta readers. I am hopeful this will provide a back up if ever (so help me God) I should need one.

Hema P. said...

A very creative post! Thanks Jim and Dawn. I know I should backup often, but that alaways seems to be relagated to the back burner, with everything else getting prioritized ahead of it. Thanks for the reminder!

Susan Fields said...

Thanks for the very informative post on an incredibly important topic, Jim! I do copy my work from my laptop to my other computer, but not nearly as often as I should. Thanks for the reminder. And I hadn't even thought about keeping a hard copy around - great suggestion!

Travener said...

"The dog ate my manuscript" - the creative author's excuse to agent/editor waiting on revisions...

Kelly said...

Great tips!

Dawn Simon said...

Thanks for all your comments! And Jim, thank you for posting. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

My laptop went belly up a little bit ago. I was lucky and didn't lose any data. I'm much better (albeit not super) at backing up now - using online and external hard-drive :)

paulgreci said...

Jim and Dawn, thanks for the reminder.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

So true. I need to be better at this. I don't back mine up as often as I should.

Amy Holder said...

Starting all over is a scary thought. I don't know what I'd do if I lost my work. Thanks for the info!

elizabeth mueller said...

Thank you, Jim, for the wonderful tips! Oh boy, am I so familiar with the scenario of losing stuff to crashing computers! :) Another one is to email your own WIPs to yourself! :) (I learned that one from a published author long ago and several after!)

elizabeth mueller said...

PS--Dawn! Thank you for following my blog! It was so nice to see your face there. :)

KLM said...

I have an old mimeograph machine in my basement (you can get them cheap on Ebay these days) and every night I run off a copy of my manuscript. Not an ideal back-up system, but I do love the smell of freshly mimeographed paper. Just like 3rd grade all over again.


Word verification word: busto (not sure how to interpret that -- seems like something you read in a comic book, like Kapow!)

Anita Saxena said...

This is a great post, aka public service announcement.
I always email a copy of my WIP to myself. I have much faith in the gmail servers.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great post, Jim! I had no idea 600,000 computers were stolen a year.

prashant said...

I am hopeful this will provide a back up if ever (so help me God) I should need one.
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Anastasia said...

you're such a sweet hubby! Thanks for reminding us!