Many years ago, I worked as a tech writer. I knew the importance of making copies of my work, so I’d faithfully backup my files each Friday as I wrapped up the workweek.
One Friday was particularly hectic, and in a rush to begin my weekend, I postponed making my backup, planning to do it first thing Monday morning. That was my first mistake.
My second error is that I left my computer running. Over the weekend, a power spike corrupted the files. As a result, I lost forty hours of carefully crafted writing. I needed to revert to my backup from the prior week.
Although dismayed at my shortsightedness, I immediately began reconstructing my lost work. Fortunately, the second pass went much quicker, and I was able to recompose everything by midday Wednesday. As a bonus, the second version was better than the first.I knew the importance of making copies of my work, so I’d faithfully backup my files. Click To Tweet
Having experienced firsthand the importance of frequently backing up my work, I became fastidious in doing so. It’s a practice that continues to this day. Not only do I make backups on a network drive, but I also use an automatic off-site backup service. And for people who feel they can’t afford the $40 or so annual fee for such a service, they should at least sign up for a free Gmail account and email themselves a copy of important files each time they finish working.
But some people still don’t follow this advice. Periodically, I hear from aspiring writers who lost their entire book when their hard drive crashed. Ouch!
Please make sure I never hear your name mentioned in such a devastating story.
Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.