Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Back Up the Back-Up

So I started work on my Kindle Singles project and it was going quite well.  Feedback was positive and the story was coming together nicely in my head, if only a bit slower on paper, or rather, on file.  Therein lies the problem.  When I first started out writing I was fairly cognizant of not just saving my work, but where and how often.

I have my main computer at home, where I've historically done most of my writing.  I also have a back-up hard drive, to which I save everything in duplicate.  In addition, I also kept everything saved on a thumb drive I could take with me on the road and write in the hotel business center.  Then I bought a laptop so I wouldn't need a hotel business center and it eventually became my number one writing station.

So I was saving everything times four.  Except I pretty much got away from that, who knows how long ago.  Writing at home, with two kids under three doesn't happen.  So almost everything goes onto my laptop, and again the thumb drive I still keep with me at all times.  However, that little thumb drive fails to make itself known so often it becomes like that youngest child so used to not getting any attention its fine hanging out by itself until someone comes looking for it.

And then I did.  Because I can't stand clutter I have exactly one folder on the desktop of my laptop.  It contains my writing files, but stands out as a blemish on an otherwise flawless complexion.  I shall save it elsewhere, I thought, and copied the files to an undisclosed location.  (Disclosed to myself of course, because otherwise this little exercise might prove me foolish.)

With my files unobtrusive, I could lance that festering boil on my desktop, saving them first to my thumb drive, as I'd been bitten by this nasty bug before.  And so I did.  Testing the new location proved a success.  Everything was where it should be.  And nothing where it shouldn't.

Then I started writing my Kindle Singles project.  I had 6000, 8000 words.  Something like that.  Not a lot for some, but a decent start. 

And then it was gone.  All gone.  Everything. 

But I backed it up, right? 

It seems not.  There was nothing in my secret location, but a question mark on top of the folder.  My thumb drive had gone back to obscurity, knowing nothing of my new project.  All that is left is four pages I'd taken to read to my library writer's group.  The rest is in my head.  It will probably come out better, but what a pain my my arse.

So, don't forget to back up your work.

1 comment:

Steven J. Wangsness said...

Ouch. I try to back everything up in multiple ways. Usually print out a chapter when it's finished, just in case worst of worst comes to pass. (Plus, my kids are always using, and losing, flash drives.)