(probably jinxing myself by even mentioning it) I've cleared the next three days to write, write, write!
Well, jinx myself I did. When I sat down to my WIP, a little munchkin got curious and disconnected my power cord from the AC-to-DC converter. (And for the record, I only knew it was called that because my husband just told me.) My laptop's screen went blank, and when I powered it back up an error message blipped up to haunt me. Windows had failed to start.
Thus ensued three whole days without my laptop. When my technically talented husband returned from his jaunt to New York and ran the gamut of tricks from his bag, he announced that my elderly laptop (I've had it four years) must go to the laptop doctor in an effort to prolong its life. (Yeah, I know - it's old enough to be put out of its misery.)
I'll admit, not having my laptop has put me in a bit of a funk but I've not fallen into the pits of despair. Why? Because there are copies of my WIP stashed away in a couple of different places. And you should do the same.
Backup your documents on a device outside of your computer. Flash drive, disc, portable hard drive, etc.Okay, so I can hear you now, echoing the thought that ofttimes runs through my head: "But what if my house burns down and my computer and backup drive go up in flames?" Don't panic. There is a solution.
There are places online where you can store your files.
One option is a one-member Yahoo group. As silly as it sounds, Yahoo groups are free and offer huge storage space. (For instance, I've only used 2% of my allotted space for all my documents.) Another option is to pay for a service that is dedicated specifically to file storage. Mozy, for example, will backup unlimited docs for a reasonable fee.
Now the trick is to backup your WIP every time you make changes to it. I'm not saying every five minutes. Once a day will do. But it's important to get in the habit of doing so. (It only takes a minute or two.)
And what if you have to take your computer to the doctor? Be sure to ask them to backup the hardrive before attempting any repairs.
UPDATE: Here's some great info about Mozy from Calista Taylor: "I recently signed up with Mozy.com which offers a free backup service (limited space unless you pay for unlimited). Just sign up, download the software, and it'll automatically backup your files to their site every 24 hours. You don't even need to worry about remembering to do it yourself!" Thanks, Calista!
So, dear reader, I want to hear from you! Have you ever survived a computer crash? And how do you backup your WIP?