One of the possibly dumbest things I do is carry my writing with me on a little USB drive.

It occurred to me just last night that I haven’t backed it up to anything in a very long time and it’s very rare that I ever print anything out because of the limited space in my condo and the whole ‘killing trees’ thing that’s so popular these days.  Hence the scary.

On that little USB drive is everything I have written in, oh, say, the last 2 years?  Give or take.  Scary, right?

I started keeping everything on that USB drive when I ended up with multiple computers (I know most people don’t have multiple computers but it just sort of happened…).  See, I’ve got one on my desk and another in the living room.  The one in the living room used to be my ‘main’ computer until I got this larger, 24-inch iMac.  The original concept was that I would sell the older, smaller 20-inch iMac now that I had the 24, but then I had some issues with the 24 that made me keep the 20 around.  The 24 has gone in and out of style as my ‘main’, having given me no end of weird troubles throughout the years (always fixed at no charge by Apple thanks to the Apple Care protection plan – but still, frustrating), and I would find myself moving from one to the other as the mood took me (or the graphics card failed).  Then I got the laptop for the comfy chair which just complicated matters further and required some sort of portability on my files (as the laptop has no internet access.  On purpose.).

What dawned on me last night though, was the thought that, with one accident, everything could be lost; Sam Kane, Evermist, Tabor, Malachi & Madrighan, Darius, Solar City…  Here’s all my eggs and oh!  Hey!  One basket that they all fit in nice and neat – that’s handy!


So last night, I backed everything up.  First on my hard drive, then on my external backup which is, oddly enough, specifically for BACKUPS and rarely gets used.  Sigh.  This way, if something happens to my little USB drive of doom, I haven’t lost all my eggs.

The question I have for you is this: Where do you keep your writing?

…and are you backing that up?



  • Clifton Hill Posted September 16, 2009 1:36 pm

    Yeah data loss is very scary. Especially if you have hundreds and more likely thousands of hours of your life tied into it. Not speaking that this is a good way of doing things, but it is how I am currently handling my own stuff:
    -I have a network hard drive that I back up some essentials to (like my main stories) a couple times a week.
    -All of my files are on my desktop PC with Vista (not recommended – Vista, not the PC, hopefully Windows 7 is as good as I hear, but cheap…) and shared to my laptop.
    -Laptop is where I work mostly, using the Offline Files capability with Windows on my laptop with XP to acess the shared files from my desktop that I have designated for that use. Which works great, and acts like an automatic backup of everything I have designated for Offline use since it is on both systems. On a side note, I tried using the Briefcase feature, which may have worked once long ago, but is atrocious now, I actually had some test data loss because of it (I think it was Vista’s fault).
    -Occassionally I do an actual back up of everything to the network HD or to DVD-RW media. Never frequently enough though.

    Well that is my method and I certainly hope it keeps me from losing anything. Thanks for the link on your blog by the way, I see I’m mentioned under the Writer Blogs category. I’ll have to put a section for that into my blog one of these days as well.

  • Patrick Hester Posted September 16, 2009 4:35 pm

    Clifton – No problem on the link. Glad to do it.

    As for Windows 7 – it is supposed to be worlds more stable than Vista. I know I am not a Windows/M$ fan in general, but I absolutely hate Vista (I ran a Win 2k box until they dragged it out of my hands kicking and screaming). Several people I work with use it (I’m on XP at work) and it is a nightmare for me. It doesn’t help that a software plugin that we use is not supported in Vista (nor does the developer ever intend to have it supported in Vista because they don’t feel Vista is a stable release), which sucks and causes me headaches… A story for another time…

    The point is that people don’t think backing up their computers and then they get screwed. I would’ve been screwed if anything happened to that USB drive. It’s sad too, because you can go out and buy a terabyte external drive (which I did) really cheap ($200 at BestBuy), hook it up to your Windows or Mac box and with a few clicks, setup automatic backups of your data.

    When I did support, people never wanted to spend the money to do backups, but they sure as heck wanted to bitch about it when they lost everything and there were no backups to recover from…


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