Why Backups are Important

Once, there was a writer who’d completed his first novel. It was decent. It was ready to go out, or at least as good as he could make it.

And then his computer’s hard disk died. Completely. And it took the novel with it.

“That’s okay,” he said. “We have a backup.”

No, he didn’t. Or rather, he had one, but it was more than a year out of date and only had the first five chapters. And so he labored for months, trying to recreate the story he’d done so much work on, based on those chapters and his notes.

And yes, he was me.

Fortunately, I attended Viable Paradise a few months later, and realized how many changes I had to make anyway, so I pretty much scrapped all but the characters and the basic plot and rewrote it. Then I was fortunate that friends from my VP class were willing to beta read it for me, and I revised based on their notes.

And now it’s on bookstore shelves.

But you know what? Ever since then, I have constant backups set. I set Scrivener to back up the file to the cloud every time I close the program, and I place weekly backups on a portable hard drive just in case. The hard drive is on-site, so the icloud backup gives me an extra layer of security in case my house burns down and takes my office with it. You think about things like this when you’ve already lost your computer and files to a fire once (years before I’d finished the novel, but still… it was bad).

Take it from me: Always keep backups, and if you can keep offsite backups, such as in “the cloud,” by all means do that. You never know what 2020’s going to throw at you next.

Published by Michael R. Johnston

Father of an eighth grader, high school English teacher, writer. Fifty years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA

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