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Friday, April 30, 2010

How paranoid are you?

So I’ve been working on a new paranormal romance and I'm close to hitting the 50K mark which is great, but as my word count increases so does my paranoia. I find myself doing extra things to make sure that I don’t lose any work. This is mainly because I have lost work in the past…wrote 3K only to have my computer shut down for no apparent reason and lost everything! I cursed, a lot.

In order to prevent that from happening again I make sure to do a “save as” frequently (because just hitting that disk symbol at the top of Word apparently does not actually save your stuff all of the time. I also save my work on multiple jump drives and email it to myself every once in a while.

I never leave the house without a jump drive with all of my work on it (you know, just in case the house burns down or something). I sound crazy, don’t I? I know I do, but I just don’t completely trust my computer.

So what do you all do to protect yourselves from losing work? Are you just as psycho as I am or have I taken it to a super-crazy level?


  1. I lost 2K at the beginning of NaNo last year and thought I would die. Now, I e-mail the chapter to myself as soon as I'm done working on it and I keep a copy of the entire ms in Google.docs, updated weekly - just in case. Losing words is almost as bad as losing an appendage. I'm uber-paranoid.

  2. Don't carry the jump drive but otherwise pretty close.

  3. I may trust my computer a bit too much. Still, I have paper copies of everything except my current pen-for-hire assignment which is under constructon. When I switched to Word 2007 (the Viking installed it for me), I discovered the autosave doesn't work. Every few mintues - it tells me it's not working/saving, so I hit save. I also send up prayers to the ocmputer goddess regularly :)

  4. I carry my external hard drive with me everywhere. It has all of my written work on it, but I also have all 3 manuscripts saved in e-mail files, etc. I think it's normal for authors to be paranoid, or at least I hope it is.

  5. Paranoia is us. I e-mail the latest version of whatever I've written before I shut my computer down. I save after every few sentences. And ... I have an automatic backup off-site that checks at least once a day. Plus, I back everything to a flash drive which I keep locked in a fireproof safe. But I live in a wildfire zone, so that's not paranoid ... right?

  6. I'm a software developer and my hubby is a computer engineer so I know how important backups are. I know people who have lost a lot but most of the time with the right know how you can get it back. But it's not worth taking the risk. Backup backup and oh backup :)