I had been asked by others if my manuscripts were backed up.
At the time, I explained that they were in the “Copy Folder” on my computer, which is kind of like Dropbox without the cost.
“They’re only in one place?” was the response I got with undeniable exasperation. I had no answer for that. They were only in one place.
To make matters worse, the Copy Folder (cloud storage) was going to be going away, come May. Gone. Kaput. That meant, whatever files weren’t moved over into another area would be deleted along with the program.
I was told to immediately open up Google Docs and save copies of my two manuscripts there for starters. My husband purchased a subscription to Dropbox (another form of cloud storage) so we would have all the available file space I could ever need to save my stories. I also got out an external hard drive and put a copy of the documents there.
The relief I felt when those manuscripts were finally saved in multiple locations was a piece of mind I didn’t realize I was lacking. I was that person that always thought, “Oh, it’ll never happen to me.”
I’m sure that’s what all the people who lose their precious words say right before they’re eaten into oblivion.
My brother and I played a video game together when we were kids called, Banjo Kazooie. We had reached the final witch/boss at the end but hadn’t figured out how to beat her yet. Somehow, I managed to pull up our saved file, hit the delete button, and confirm the deletion, without ever realizing what I was doing.
What I’m trying to say is, you just never know when it’s going to happen.
My brother was so frustrated with me he refused to replay the entire game to get back to the boss. I replayed on my own time so we could still finish the game, and let me tell you, he still makes mention of that fateful deletion to this day.
It is the blond moment that I will never live down.
Back up your files. Always. Every time. Save your work frequently during your session. Whatever you do, if messages start coming up to confirm deletion, read what they say before clicking the “Yes” button. You don’t want to end up like the writer who lost her 20,000 words or that Banjo Kazooie saved game.
Do you back up your files? What locations do you like to use to keep your files safe?