This should’ve been tip number one, reinforced with tip number two and spelled out in detail with tip number three.
Back up your work.
It happens during every NaNoWriMo that some writers somewhere lose their precious word counts by either forgetting to save, by losing their USB disks or by faulty computers and freak thunderstorms that can destroying a hard drive in one single flash. For those of us who work on computers, it is wise to remember that we are at their mercy.
The sad thing about backupping is that we all know we should do it (myself included) but for some lazy, procrastinating reason we never do. We like to think that we will be spared, that we will miss this evil curse of every anxious writer but we are wrong.
It will happen to us. Not today maybe, or tomorrow or even for the whole of November. But, one day, when you least expect it, you will find that you have lost all your information through any of the above mentioned reasons (or different ones, you never know how creative Murphy’s Law) can be. And then, you find yourself swimming in the pool of regret, telling yourself over and over and over again that you should’ve backed up your work.
So, go now and back up. Save a second copy of your precious manuscript. Put it in at least two safe locations. Flash drives aren’t that expensive anymore. It’s quite affordable to have two of them. I have two, one which I use for my general work and the other which I use solely for backuping. It puts my mind at ease (even though I don’t nearly do it as much as I should). I also put my work on my computer hard drive (though not so much as I feel that that encourages the beast to crash). But, I always make sure that I have at least two or three copies available of what I’m working on. Another good idea, (although I don’t use it myself) is to email your work back to yourself at the end of the day. That way it’s in your inbox, safe on the world wide web (for every pirate and his mate to read, lol) which should save you from that fateful (and terribly unlucky) day where every single space where your work is kept is destroyed.
They cannot kill the internet.
Good luck with your writing guys, and don’t take this advice lightly. Not today.
Your work and word count is too important to keep at this stage. 😉
Good luck, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Alyss (who is following her own advice right about… now).
Another good method of backup is using Dropbox. It’s a free program that allows you to share documents automatically with several computers. I’ve been using it and every time I update a file in it, it’s updated on their servers and on the other computers I use as well so if my computer crashes I still can log into another terminal where I have backup installed and pull it down.