PSA: Back Up Your Writing

Monday, May 04, 2020
Anyone else remember these? I do!
Today, I'd like to discuss backing up your writing.

Do it. Do back up your writing. All of it. Even the bad stuff.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

You see, I never think about the importance of making sure my writing is backed up until I realize I've lost something. Last week, I accidentally deleted a YouTube video (shockingly easy, might I add). And unfortunately, I couldn't find another copy of the video file. I suspect it's on an old laptop that doesn't really work or a flash drive I can't find. So, there we have it.

After that, I came to realize how I never think to back up my short stories, articles, and other content pieces. They are all in various places. Probably what stops me from making this a regular habit is that I don't have a "central" system. Every now and then I'll think to email myself files, but they quickly become files I never look up again. Not to mention the multiple versions of stories I tend to save in various places.

So, like I said, it isn't until I've deleted or lost something that I even think to back up my work. My announcement for you today is back up your writing. If you have a website, back it up. Do it regularly. Make an appointment for yourself like it's a teeth cleaning.

If you aren't sure of where or how to save your work in extra places, here are a few ideas:

1) Your Google Drive.

Okay, this is probably obvious and it wasn't until recently that I thought to sort of organize it, but that is a good place to store writing.

2) Bublup.

Don't stop at Google Drive. Try other services. I like using Bublup for a variety of reasons but especially to store files. Sign up here using my link.

3) Email yourself.
Kind of obvious but a fail-safe, especially if you email a bunch of files to a few different email addresses you use (am I the only one who has like 3 or 4 different emails?).

4) Dropbox.

Much like Google Drive, my Dropbox account is a disorganized mess. But I'd rather have mess of files that I'd like to keep than lose something I wanted in the first place.

This is my call to action:

Go save those files.

You won't realize what you need until you've lost it.

In other news, I did find a handwritten story that I feared I accidentally tossed. Turns out, it was stuffed in a manilla envelope, obviously with the intent for me to save it and type it one day. I think I know what my next public service announcement will be: type those stories.

Happy writing everyone!


Sioux Roslawski said...

Nicole--I remember floppy discs. I think they were before those discs (diskettes? what WERE those things called?)

Your advice is great. These days, we lull ourselves into a false sense of security. We think the places we're storing work is a safe place. It's not always the case.

Nicole Pyles said...

We sure do! A definite false sense of security. I use my moments of realizing I've
lost something as a reminder to save it all!

Margo Dill said...

I just did a bunch of this last night and have a note to start cleaning and organizing them in Dropbox. Maybe it's spring cleaning our files time too. :)

Nicole Pyles said...

I love that Margo! A digital spring cleaning is a necessity I think. :)

Kathy Steinemann said...

Thanks, Nicole, but you missed one: an external USB drive. Two terabyte drives cost less than $100 USD.

Most of the other ways are great for backing up a few files, but not gigabytes of WIPs, videos, and photos.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

An external hard drive is definitely our favorite method, Kathy!

Renee Roberson said...

Thanks for the reminder, Nicole! I am always way too slack about backing up my work. I use Dropbox to store all the articles and photos for the magazines I work on, but since I had to upgrade to a business account last year I have more than enough room to store some of my more important documents. I also have an external hard drive as a backup.

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