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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Backup Your Backups

The automatic backup on my system failed months ago and I've only backed up a couple times since then.  Now I'm trying to relearn the daily manual procedure.

Also, it wouldn't hurt to actually open your recovery file to see what is there.  Although it may contain a zip file or something of the sort, at least make sure it's not empty.  Better to know about a problem now than when really needed.

Years ago, when I worked for attorneys, we had five backup disks.  One for each weekday.  I'd stick the appropriate one in the server for the day's automatically scheduled backup and the one I just ejected would go directly to my purse to be taken home with me--in case of fire or flood.  So, at worst, we would lose only one day's work.

Converting that to an at-home author's creations, you need to backup all seven days if you are like me and work regardless.  Now my Yahoo! Calendar has a reminder to send to me everyday.  For that "off-site" storage, get a thumb drive with a hole in it and add that to your key chain.  Not sure if you can password protect the whole drive or if you have to go the individual-document route, but think about that, too, in case you ever lose your keys.  In the meantime, I'll add that subject to research on my To Do list.

If I had the money and resources, I'd print out every WIP which I have resident on my computer.  Remember the Y2K scare?  Just for those type eventualities. 

But at this point, I cannot use the toner and paper for my own novels, just for my freelance gigs.  Once I had a hard copy of each, they would be added to the photo albums and other pertinent documents I'd want to save in case of an emergency.  People and pets would be the first priority, then this stash would be the second.

After the horrible hail storm in Dallas on Flag Day and praying for those people involved, the event just kept  nagging my brain, eventually morphing into a big nudge regarding my own personal plan to implement.

So, here it is.  Hope this spurs another author to save those written ideas.  There is no way I could recreate the 350,000 or so words I've typed to date.  It would be crushing to face that loss of time, effort, creativity.

Therefore, prepare, folks.  Backup that work.

Denise Barker, author + freelance copy editor + blogger
Good Ole Boys, a love story at http://amzn.to/GoodOleBoys

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