1. Edge
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    Edge Member

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    The 100% best advice for writers

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Edge, May 2, 2009.

    I have been looking around this forum for a while now, but I have yet to see this little bit of advice...ok I have see part of it, but not all of it.

    BACK UP YOUR WORK!!!

    I have lost my novel a few times, and had to start over from scratch. Everyone knows to back up your work some how, flash drive, cd. But I have yet to see anyone say, Email it to yourself.

    Computers crash, cd's get scratched, flash drives get lost. But you put it into cyberspace, well I have yet to lose my story since I started emailing it to...well, me.
     
  2. starseed
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    starseed Contributing Member

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    Good advice. I always back up my work on a few different flash drives + my computer. I carry one flash drive with me anywhere at any given time because you never know when your house could burn down, lol.
     
  3. DownUnder
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    DownUnder Contributing Member

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    Before this post I had no backups, I guess it was a 'it won't happen to me' thing and procrastination. As of reading this, I decided to back up my writing to a flash drive, I only hope I remember more regularly :).
     
  4. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    I don't have any back ups currently but probably will soon
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    This point does get brought up from time to time (usually because someone didn't, and regrets it).

    Backing up your work is essential. and it IS best to have more than one backup method.

    Emailing it to yourself, isn't really one I would have suggested.

    Most email servers delete the email after you download it to your mail client, so your backup copy is still only on your computer hard drive. If you are using a web mail account, your email will be maintained on a remote server, so it's not unreasonable. Still, I don't like leaving my backups in the hands of other parties who don't guarantee data preservation.

    I keep my backups on other computers and on DVDs, on regular backup schedules. External hard drives and flash drives are also good choices. Just don't keep all your backups in one place.
     
  6. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    Emailing the story to myself could be a hassle, since the desktop I write on doesn't have an Internet connection (hahaha no PC-destroying viruses!), no CD burner, and the USB port is in the back of the ancient machine, against the wall. But it's certainly worth it. *goes to back up novel*
     
  7. Ragnar
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    If someone hacks your mail there's the potential loss of your book, also cyberspace is not perfect, from time to time something does break down, and if your out of luck that just might be when your harddrive throws in the towel. If you're bothered by breakdowns and what not that deletes your work my advice to you would be this: Get a new computer.
     
  8. Chime Elf
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    Chime Elf New Member

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    Eeep...in the past, I'd only pressed CTRL+S at the end of every sentence in MS Word, to keep from losing my work from a freezing or semi-crashing computer. I'd never really thought of long-term set-backs, like the computer completely crashing and wiping my harddrive clean.

    You can be assured that I will take your emphatic advice and start emailing my story to myself. My, my...now that shall be interesting. Receiving an email by...me.
     
  9. Emmy
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    Weird. I just dealt with this last week.

    I went to the little portable USB thingy that plugs into the USB port on my mac. I was having some issues with it freezing up, and I would lose whatever I hadn't saved. I'm in a pretty good habit of hitting "save" whenever I take a breather from a long train of thought, but the freezing up was seriously cramping my style.

    So I bought the little keychain looking thing, and started backing up to it pretty regularly. Then I bought software to clean out the junk, and my mac's been running like a champ ever since.

    Still, I'm thinking about the online file storage thing, just in case....
     
  10. starseed
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    starseed Contributing Member

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    Gah! I can't believe some of you don't back up your work!!!

    If I ever lost my book I'd seriously have to be strapped down to a bed in a mental ward to keep me from committing suicide. It's my LIFE.
     
  11. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have backups of my work on five different computers, in four different nations, in three different countries.
     
  12. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like backing up. I have 2 usbs, two disks, two floppies and a always print out my novel stuff on paper in case all goes wrong ;)
     
  13. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I don't back up. I hand write my work, and carry my book and notes everywhere I go. Crazy....:rolleyes:
     
  14. rainshadow
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    I have backups in several forms, usually. Of course I always save a backup directly on my hard drive. Then I email it to myself. Then I save it on a thumbdrive.

    And, worse case scenario -- Judgment Day ;) -- hard copy. :D
     
  15. PoeMars
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    PoeMars New Member

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    Yes! I completely agree with you on this. It has happened to me more then once and I now email them to myself. Then no matter what they are there.

    The best advice!
     
  16. crime.prose
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    crime.prose Member

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    Besides the hard drive, I copied everything onto an external drive. Additionally, I send files as an attachment to at least two separate e-mail addresses.
     
  17. That Silly Welsh Guy
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    That Silly Welsh Guy Senior Member

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    This happened to me a while ago, wh=ith school work and my novel. My hard-drive crashed once but I managed to salvage the data, but just incase of further malfunctions I went out to buy a pen-drive and have backed up EVERYTHING - not just my novel - that was worth keeping from My Documents to my pen-drive which I have attached to my car keys. If I had lost my History coursework (in excess of 5,000 words) I seriously would have been screwed.
     
  18. aoibhneas
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    Am I the only person that uses Google Docs as a backup? I've been pasting each day's work into a new document. I think it's a good one.
     
  19. Pliny
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    I post everything I write on a private forum; the way I see it, the internet is the most reliable way to back up information. Neither theft, nor fire, nor explosion, nor rampaging stampede can get in the way.
     
  20. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    I hand-write my work. I back it up on the computer. Then I print it and store it somewhere. And I email it to myself because my email server has the option to save emails for an indeterminate amount of time. Of course, if it's just a drabble I'm writing for fun and not something I'm seriously considering working on, I don't bother backing it up at all because if I'm not going to finish it to begin with, why worry about losing it?

    ~Lynn
     
  21. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    Yeah you don't really realize how fragile a computer can be until your computer crashes for no apparent reason. Like brand new hard drive needed crashed. It sucks, use flash drives and print it out occasionally I'd say.
     
  22. Forde
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    Gosh! I don't think I could write without a keyboard and the internet in front of me, at least not as easily. You have my admiration!


    Personally, I hate backing up; it's a chore for me but I force myself to do it. I have a copy on my iPod, a USB stick and I E-Mail bits to myself, too.

    Like the OP said, E-Mailing has many advantages as you can show people your work no matter where you are. I even considered setting up a Blogspot blog and uploading the chapters there as blog entries. It would get very few hits and, as far as I'm aware, would mean my work was copyrighted (as it is published) and backed up.
     

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