Computer Problems and Not Losing Your Novel

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.

Happy writing!
EW

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Computer Problems and Not Losing Your Novel

  1. I have this problem often. PC shutting down or freezing and needing a hard restart while I am writing. Or I leave the doc open to go get some coffee and Windows updates and restarts automatically. Grrrr!!
    I use Open Office though, which is a Life Saver!
    It automatically saves as I write and when the PC shuts down with the document open, when you start the program again it does a document recover. Giving it back exactly as it was when the restart happened.
    So I haven’t completely lost anything yet. Not since I have been using it. Such a relief.

    Plus as suggested I back up. I email to myself on web based email like gmail. I put the file on multiple PCs etc. Can never be too careful, as we know it is never the same when you try to rewrite what you lost.

    • That’s awesome! But very true about ‘cant be too careful.’ I think microsoft word does that, too, or was that what you meant? There are a lot of good tools out there for writer’s, too, that help. I’ll be doing a post about some software I found as well!

      Omg. Those auto-restarts are the most annoying! Because, bam! Where did everything go? I usually try to make a point to save whenever I have to get up and if I think I’ll be a while (like making dinner or something) I’ll look to see if that annoying yellow shield is there. If it is I close out everything and let the computer run it’s updates/install & restart while I’m not there. But at least we get updates and know what they’re for…and we can somewhat choose if we don’t want something. There are some OS’s that only give updates once in a blue moon, overload with them so they take forever and don’t tell you what they’re for or give you choices. So…the lesser evil, I suppose lol. 😉