So, my computer had this weird meltdown today. Hours ago, I was playing a game and all of a sudden it just turned itself off. I tried turning it back on, but it just turned back off before the first screen. Weird, huh? It’s happened before but it’s pretty rare. What if I’d been writing? Well, here are some ways to protect your work from total loss on the incident of a computer failure whether it be minor or the blue screen of death.
Back up your work. I know, you probably hear that a lot, but trust me…it’s really good advice. Save it to a CD (rewrite-able) or USB key. However, that’s not always 100% reliable. To guarantee that you don’t lose anything, you should save frequently and e-mail it to yourself. That way if the CD is faulty or gets scratched and the USB key winds up getting messed up from someone else’s computer, you still have a draft you can just download from your e-mail.
Okay, what if you’ve got a bigger problem? What if you don’t have access to a computer now that yours has crashed? Or what if there’s a power failure? Well, if you’ve got access to your e-mail from a phone or device like an iPod, that’s good news for you. There are Microsoft Office apps for those devices. And even if you don’t want to type on that small keyboard, then don’t! Just grab a pen and paper and hand-write if you have to. I know, as both a precaution and preference, some writers like to print out their novels as they go along so they always have a hard copy available to edit and in case the file is corrupted, etc.
No matter what, there are always things you can do if you can’t work on your novel. Again, take a pen and paper and start developing those characters you haven’t gotten to yet…or name some places that will be featured in your story. Of course, sometimes you need to do some more outlining or just re-route the outline you’re currently using.