Don’t Lose Your WIP

The other day, I had a panic attack. A serious, heart-thumping, beading sweat panic attack.

I’d misplaced my flash drive.

The search commenced. My bed was littered with the contents of my purse as I went through every nook and cranny.  I rearranged all my books to make sure I hadn’t put it someplace weird.  My computer desk now had open space – a lot of open space.

No flash drive.

The long and short of it, I’d left it on my desk at work.  It was waiting for me, if inanimate objects could laugh, laughing at me.

My lesson learned?  Back Up Everything Regularly.

What would you do if you lost your flash drive, your hard drive went bad, a fire/tornado/earthquake/lightning strike destroyed everything or the computer gremlins carefully chose you as a target?  Recreating all my brain dumps, ideas, WIPs would be nigh to impossible.  I’d have to start over.  That is a terrifying thought.

What are your options?  

  1. Online Back-up Companies.  There are several programs you can back up your WIPs too.  Check out this PCMagazine article for options.
  2. Google Docs.  Google allows you to use their cloud storage to store unconverted files.  That way you can have your projects anywhere you need.  The only downside is there is no version control to Microsoft and Adobe products.  You’ll have to back it up manually each time.
  3. Multiple Flash Drives.  This is not a particularly easy option you have to make sure all have the same data. Plus, flash drives are small and easy to misplace.
  4. Portable External Hard Hrives. Back up your documents, pictures and music to an external hard drive.  Most external hard drives are small enough to be able to grab in an emergency.

There is nothing more horrifying than losing all your hard work.  Find a backup option that works for you and do it.

Save your work, save your sanity.

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18 comments

  • Even worse when you get the BSOD and your computer refuses to work anymore. I lost a precious 10,000 words this way. If I’d lost the entire manuscript I’d have gone nuts, but thankfully I had sent an earlier copy to a friend.

    Still… 10,000 words! =’[

    • I email myself versions of my work regularly. It saves my sanity. I grieve with you over your loss of 10k words. Thanks for stopping by. :)

  • Hah! This reminds me of Kate’s story about losing her WIP! It’s a horrible feeling!

    • I almost went a little backup happy. Then after the second backup of the backup, I’d never be able to keep everything straight. There is madness in writing.

      • Haha!!! well here’s Kate’s story which is quite funny – http://limebirduk.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/the-day-i-lost-my-wip/ and some tools for backing up your work which could be useful? – http://limebirduk.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/tools-for-writers/

        Anyhoo, glad you’re all backed up now!

        • My dog, who has stepped, sat, and gnawed on my computer, is watching me giggle at the story. You all are doing a great job on your site.

          • Thanks Leila, that’s really nice of you to say! :) I’m glad you enjoyed the story!

  • I clicked Like but actually Don’t Like!!! Been there. But I hadn’t left mine at work. I had it in my lunch bag and didn’t take it out, then chucked the bag on top of the fridge and it fell out. Took me hours to find it, the brain doesn’t function clearly in full on panic mode. I’ve been using DropBox, but not really for backing up. I’m still terrible about that. I tell myself all the time to back it up before I lose it and then. . . *bright shiny, bright shiny* Now, what was I doing? ;p

    • My mom’s hard drive started crashing, programs disappearing right and left. She uses Carbonite, so it all worked out as we set up the new computer. But it was touchy there for a while. I found a flash drive that has a case and carbinger that attaches to my purse. It helps a lot. :)

  • I use iDrive and set it up to backup automatically every day … I just have to remember to add newly created files to the backup list, if I don’t have the entire folder they’re in checked as a backup set. It’s worth the few bucks a month for the peace of mind! I’ve gone nuts on this issue too, and heard way too many horror stories. Back up! Back up! It’s totally crazy-making not to… :/

    • Sing it sistah!

  • Oh yes! I have multiple flashsticks, an external hard drive, and DVD copies that I take to the office for off-site backup. It’s a pain sometimes to do all that backing up, but the thought of losing all my data is worse!

    • In the case of our back-ups, paranoia is not a bad frame of mind to be in. :)

  • Oh, no! I’ve had similar episodes, but have since learned to back up everything in at least three places.

    I’m glad you found it!

    • Thanks! It was nerve-wracking. :)

  • I back-up regularly to a couple of flash drives and print a hard copy. I might try the emailing it to myself option as well. That’s a good idea.

    I once lost about 7k words. I was in a zone writing all day and when I went to save my computer crashed and I lost it all. REGULAR back-up since for me :)

    • 7k words? My heart just stopped.

      • So did mine. It was a number of years ago and before flash drives and well the internet. But it made me back-up more often so it didn’t happen again

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