Well, it happened. My laptop died. With all my manuscripts on it.
This could be a catastrophe.
But it’s not.
Because of my obsessive habit of backing up my work.
A couple years ago I read simple tip – probably in Writer’s Digest magazine – that saved my sanity today. That tip was to send a copy of your manuscript to your email each day after writing and/or revising. That way, you have one current copy on your computer, and one out in email land.
I do this absolutely every day after my writing time is up – or even once in the middle of the day if I’ve written/revised a lot. This takes seconds. Rewriting a 75,000 word manuscript? Much longer.
When the current manuscript hits my inbox, I simply delete the last copy I sent. (I’m also a bit obsessive about keeping my inbox clean.)
Now, I’m sure I’ll be able to retrieve some documents from my sick laptop at some point. But how many days will that be?? I’m making agent-suggested revisions to my manuscript right now. (Yippee!) I can’t miss several days of work! Not that I’d even want to. I mean, what would I do with myself all day if I couldn’t write? Watch bad TV? No thanks.
I also back up my manuscripts to a thumb drive, but I only do this about once a month. Emailing a copy is much quicker, but it is nice to know I have a fairly recent draft in three different places.
So, please take my experience to heart, because for most of us, it’s only a matter of when. I’m writing this post from my daughter’s netbook, from which I can also edit my manuscript, because my latest copy is out in email land just waiting for me to dive in!