Paranoia: my bff

flash

 

Every week, on average, one of the writers on my various social networking feeds howls in horror. Why? Because they’ve lost all their work. Their hard drive failed because:

  1. computers suck like that
  2. they spilled coffee on their laptop
  3. the cat peed on their computer
  4. their toddler dumped their netbook into the toilet/tub/kitchen sink
  5. their laptop was stolen
  6. they dropped their device and it shattered

I’m totally serious.

What lesson can we learn from this? Yes. You guessed it: paranoia is your friend (in simpler terms: back your shit up).

A long time ago I used to worry about my house catching fire (long before the era of smart phones and freaking cloud computing). Everything I wrote was on scraps of paper and inside notebooks. Most of it was/is drivel and not worth saving (give me a break, I was ten years old), but I still worried about what I would do if everything spontaneously erupted in a ginormous fireball of horribleness and smoke.

What do you get when you add a childhood fear of fire to my weekly feed of lost-my-writing laments?

A writer who backs up all of her stuff obsessively.

I have five different backups.

Six.

Okay, okay, maybe seven.

I backup to an extra hard drive connected to my computer. I back up weekly to a separate extra hard drive. I back up daily to an internet back up service. I copy stuff to a flash drive when the mood strikes (which is about every two days). I backup my laptop work to my desktop and vice versa. I use a cloud service to sync my work from my laptop to my desktop to my phone and there’s a backup built into that. Last, I have a tendency to email myself stuff.

I have never lost my work.

I know I’m just asking for it, putting that out there in plain text, but it’s true. My hard drive failed a little while ago. I knew it was failing, so before I took it in to get it replaced, I made yet ANOTHER back up of my entire hard disk to an extra drive we had lying around (my husband is a geek, so yeah, we have random computer equipment all over the place).

All I can say is THANK THE UNIVERSE I did that. Because the new hard disk did NOT work properly without a lot of flinging of obscenities into the air and wiping of the drive and other crap I still don’t understand.

Dear everyone I know: back your stuff up. I always feel so bad for you when I read your cries on the internet. It makes me cry, too.

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