The importance of backups

A writer’s worst nightmare is likely the losing of one’s work through no fault of their own. Computer crashes, viruses, or even mistakes with saving can often lose hours if not days of typing. Here are a few handy tips to save your work:

  • Backup files! This is something any computer user should be doing anyway. Putting files and documents on some sort of media (disk, flash drive, or on the Internet) should be practiced daily. I keep a flash drive specific to my writing, and another for my graphics and other important files. I also use online word processor services to save my work, generally using http://www.Zoho.com for this very purpose.
  • Setup auto-saves. Every word processor has the means to automatically save in timely increments. MS Word has the default of 10 minutes, but considering I type up to 90 words per minute, this can be a great deal of words lost if something bad should happen to my document. I get it save every three minutes, and check off the ‘always create backup file’ as well. This is found under the TOOLS, then OPTIONS, and click the TAB button entitled SAVE.

Do not think this won’t happen to you. Every writer I’ve met encountered this at one time or another, so the threat is definitely there. Also remember that by changing the name, location, or format of a file always creates a copy. Having a copy OFF the computer onto something else is very important in this day and age of computer viruses.

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