I’ve always loved my computers because they hold globs of magic; my passport to the entire world, my recipes (for dishes I’ll never cook), my exercise plan (which I do plan on using), Behler files, and my writing. Since my computer holds my life in its dainty cyber fingers, I treat her like one of my children, so if she threatens to crap out on me, she’ll give me some warning.
Sadly, my computer doesn’t hold the same feelings for me as I do for her because when she does crap out, I have no warning. I dutifully press the ON button and await my morning magic – only she doesn’t greet me with her usual beep. Instead, I’m greeted with a blank screen (cyber humor for flipping me the bird). My computer knows me well. She senses my rising panic and chuckles softly to herself, thinking she’s really uncorked my bottle (which, of course, she has).
My latest dalliance with being uncorked was a few months ago. Oh, she thought she got me good. B*tch. But I one-upped the rancid wench by having a file backup system. When she blew, I sent that ungrateful ratbag directly to Computer Heaven and stole our family computer…and rescued my cyber life from my offsite file backup system.
Every author should have some sort of file backup system. Whether it’s a backup hard drive or offsite system, you need one. A couple of our authors have written us in a panic because their computers decided to take a dirt nap, or their computers were stolen – and took their manuscripts with them. They didn’t have any backup system in place and, luckily, I had a copy. But what if I hadn’t? I hate to think of the hysteria in the author’s office…and mine. The beagle would have had to perform emergency CPR. Patooi.
I hear this problem all the time – author has a deadline, computer senses fear and flips its lid, renders author clinically insane. Dear authors, save your sanity and deny computers their propensity of dying when it’s least convenient. Get some sort of file backup in place. Once it’s gone, it’s so hard to re-write or replace. Preferably, get a backup system that writes in the background and works automatically. I used to save to a zip drive, and I’d forget to back up. My computer knew this and went kablewie after I’d written five chapters and hadn’t saved them. I. Wanted. To. Die.
Flip your computer the bird and revel in the fact that you’re smarter than that bucket of bolts and sand by having a backup system. There is no better feeling to create, knowing that it’s preserved forever. And….your editor will really appreciate it, too.