Tips for Writing #1 Back Up Your Work!
Updated: Sep 7
I'm a creative writer, but no matter what kind of writer you are, there is one thing you absolutely should do. And I don't tend to live by "musts" or "shoulds", but if you want to save yourself a headache, you might want to heed this one.
Back up your work!!
Seriously, there is nothing worse than your computer dying on you, or a program crashing, or some other unforeseen event that wipes away hours, or even years! of work.
I write in Google Documents, so I have the added security of everything being saved to a cloud. It's unlikely that anything would happen to those servers, but if something did or there was some other malfunction, ALL of my data would be gone...and that's a scary thought.
GDocs has a great feature where you can just right-click your folder and click 'download'.
It saves everything inside that folder into a neat and tidy .zip folder. What's even better is that you can access them all offline! GDocs has an update & sync app that you can download onto your computer, but I found that it saved everything as an HTML document, and that didn't do me any good in the event that I wanted to update something offline.
With a .zip* on hand, you can save it onto your hard drive, which now gives you your first backup copy. But what if your hard drive fails? Back that up to an external HDD or thumb drive! It doesn't hurt to be extra prepared.
So, a save to your computer, a save on an external device, and a save to a cloud. Three copies of your work! What a safety net.
When I'm writing heavily, I update my backup to my PC every few days or so, but when it's not so heavy (like any time other than NaNoWriMo haha) it tends to be once a month. It's up to you how often you think you should update your files.
Now this is a given, I'm sure none of you need reminding, but for those of you who are writing on a program offline, like Word or OfficeLibre or Scrivener, make sure you're saving often! Every few paragraphs, every chapter, the amount you feel comfortable with is up to you. Then you could back that up after your session if you wanted. Writing on a laptop saves you in the event of a power outage, but it could still crash unexpectedly, so save save save! :)
That's all for now. Feel free to comment & share! I'd love to hear any tips you all might have in backing up your work, or other precautionary endeavors involving your writing works.
*If you don't have a program that will open/unpack .zip files, I recommend 7zip! Great freeware that gets the job done.