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How to Backup Your Writing and Protect Your Work


A writer, at any level, can quickly end up with a lot of work stored on a computer.

You’ve got some nice work here. It’d be a shame if something were to happen to it.

No, seriously. That would suck.

As a writer, how do you backup your writing?

Here are a few ways to protect your work, your equipment, and your sanity.

Image via Pexels

Protect your work.

You’ve probably heard about how important it is to backup your writing. Thanks to technology, especially the internet, there are many ways to protect your work.

First, start with an old-school method.

Get an external hard drive. This will help if your computer quickly dies on you and you have access to another computer (as you shop for a new one).

Then, go sit on a cloud.

Lauren Salkin, writer and blogger of Think Spin, said she’s learned how important it is to have different ways to backup your writing.

“I’ve lost work before,” Lauren said. “It’s traumatic. Many years ago my laptop died without a current backup. I booted it up and got the error message: Hard drive cannot be found. I have a Mac. I have an extended hard drive backup through Time Capsule (Apple’s wireless router) that backups on my computer and extended hard drive plus Dropbox in the cloud.”

Dropbox and Carbonite are two popular online storage services.

Dropbox is a file hosting service. It offers cloud storage and the ability for multiple people to share files with each other, if they chose to do so, among other services.

Dropbox Basic users get 2 gigabytes of free storage space. Dropbox Plus is a paid service where users get 1 terabyte (or 1,000 gigabytes) of storage space, and other features, such as advanced sharing options. Dropbox is available for Microsoft Windows and Apple users, as well as on smart phones and tablets.

Carbonite is an online backup service for Windows and Mac computer users. The service backs up documents, e-mails, music, photos, and settings. Carbonite offers unlimited backup space for a fixed price.

Sandy Kreps, writer and blogger of Modern Simplicity, uses both services.

“Cloud is key,” Sandy said.  “I didn’t worry when I lost my computer in a house fire because everything was backed up via Dropbox and Carbonite.”

Protect your equipment.

Even in our digital age, sometimes, you still end up with paper. These papers can include a handwritten journal or stack of journals, especially if you’ve been journaling for many years.

You might also have notes taken during a conference, a business or writers’ group meeting, or a meeting in person or on the phone with a client.

Be sure to transfer any handwritten meeting notes to your online backup program(s) as soon as possible.

Lost or damaged equipment can usually be replaced. This is why it’s so important to have homeowners insurance, or renters insurance, to help replace laptops and other home office equipment along with your home’s other items, after a fire or a robbery.

Protect yourself and your family.

Doing backup for your writing and your equipment is important, but it’s even more important to protect yourself and your family. Losing your work, equipment or any other items is traumatic, especially if it’s caused by a home fire, a natural disaster or a robbery.

Writer and blogger Kay Bolden said it was hard dealing with lost journals during an emergency.

“I lost a ton of hand-written journals several years ago when our basement flooded,” Kay said. “Now I keep everything that’s hand-written in clear, waterproof bins. I cried for weeks when I lost those journals. Some of them went back to my teen years.”

Writing is personal, whether it’s your profession or your hobby. After an emergency, give yourself time to grieve over any work and personal items that were damaged or can’t be replaced.

It’s a shame that we sometimes lose our work and our possessions.

But there’s no shame in taking as much time as you need to stay safe and get help as you and your family recover and rebuild.


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Did this post help you? How do you protect your work and your equipment? Share your advice, writing experiences and questions in the comments section below.




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