In the wake of recent “natural” occurrences, I’m sure that many people have come to realize the necessity of safeguarding documents that are important and/or have sentimental value to them. For writers, that includes our work.
What would you do if your home is flooded, or a fire breaks out, or any number of natural or “unnatural” disasters occurs and your papers and computer are destroyed? Apart from the wrath of Mother Nature, computers crash, disks break, files get corrupted, and despite the pop-up question, “Are you sure you want to delete this file?” files get deleted.
In any of these circumstances, would you be able to retrieve your data?
I’m always paranoid about losing my material, so I keep multiple copies of my files. I use my computer as my master file location, but then I periodically copy over all my stuff to not one, but three, flash drives, one of which I carry around with me in my bag. In addition, I email myself anything that I’m currently working on, using two and sometimes three different email accounts.
Does that seems excessive? It’s not. It’s really not, because as amazing as modern technology is, it can all be gone in the blink of an eye. And I know so many people who are careless with their files and never back them up. They usually end up sorry. I also know people who are very casual about taking care of their computers in terms of protecting them against viruses. I have one friend whose computer got “sick” four times in the past two years. I told him that he needs to be vigilant about getting all the necessary virus, malware, spyware, adware detection programs and keeping them updated. I told him that he needs to think of it as a condom for his computer.
So, don’t get caught with your pants down. Be prepared for any disastrous occurrence. Have water and food, flashlights and batteries, blankets and tools. And for goodness sake, protect your documents. You put all that hard work and pieces of your soul into it—you don’t want to lose it.