Back It Up!

I know the title of this post sounds like a lyric from an obscene rap song, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about how important it is to back up your computer files regularly (I was about to type “religiously,” although that word would be appropriate, too).  I think it’s good to have both hard copies and electronic copies of your files; if your computer goes kaput or you lose your flash drive, then you’ll at least have the hard copy — or if by some chance, your hard copy gets eaten by your dog or gets destroyed by termites, then you’ll have the electronic file.

I back up my files once a week (although, I recommend that you do it more often than that). I have quite a few flash drives, and I also keep hard copies of every draft of my stories. It’s a lot of paper, and it’s a lot messier than all those neat little electronic folders, but it’s a huge help when there come times that I leave my flash drive at work or when my computer decides not to behave.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of “I don’t feel like backing up today, so I’ll just do it next week,” but then weeks turn into months and you’re stuck with just one copy of everything. Then some electronic disaster strikes and months of work are lost and never to be retrieved. So back it up. Print a copy and keep it somewhere safe from moths, termites, children, dogs, etc. When your computer fails or when you’ve accidentally sent your flash drive through the washing machine for the sixtieth time and it refuses to work, you’ll be glad you did.

6 thoughts on “Back It Up!

  1. I don’t do hard copy anymore. Now that I use my Kindle for marking up drafts — which I’m going fo talk about on my blog this week — I almost never print anything out at all.

    That being said, I completely agree with the rest. I always have things saved in multiple ces, including online. And when I put drafts on my Kindle I use email, so they’re in my Sent folder, too.

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  2. My hard drive crashed . . . I lost ALL the photos and documents and financial records. Gone. In a flash.

    And, you know what, I didn’t miss them.
    At all. 😉

    In fact, losing them all simplified my life and my record keeping.

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  3. Do you prefer the flash drives? I broke down and got an external drive and I’ve had so many problems with it. I might go back to flash drives because if I fear I could lose the files I saved on the external.

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    1. I’ve never had an external drive. I don’t need something that big (physically and in terms of hard drive space). The only downside to flash drives for me is that they’re so little (and getting smaller and smaller) that I’m afraid I might lose it or misplace it.

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