Monday, September 6, 2010

Data Preservation

So I nearly had a disaster this weekend. I worked all Saturday morning and churned out 1600 words and saved it. Then as I was copying it something went horribly wrong and it vanished. I won't get into the details, but I was fortunate that I knew what I needed and was able to find the software and make it work and I was able to recover my file.

The whole situation brings to mind the need to preserve your data. In this electronic world you need to make multiple copies of your files. Most importantly, you need copy that is not inside your house. I keep my writing in three locations. I use my PDA to transport my files and I write at home and at work, so the three locations are my work PC, my home PC, and my PDA.

Probably the most ironic thing that could happen just happened. While I was finishing the above paragraph, my software crashed. I quickly opened wordpad and retyped the paragraphs before letting the software close.

That brings me to another important backup - paper. Always keep a paper copy of your writing. Regardless of computer file formats, technology, or anything else, good paper will last for a hundred years. Paper doesn’t like water or fire, but neither do computers.

Redundancy is the key to keeping your data from being lost. I keep my writing (in electronic form) with me, at home, at work, and at home on paper. You will know what works best for you, but when you lose a chapter or an entire story, you will be grateful you have a backup copy.