I don’t know if Major League games actually end due to rain, but I know Little League games do — or used to. (It’s been awhile. :)) It seems that sometimes our writing time does to, though it’s usually not because it’s raining outside.
Last Friday afternoon was on of those days for me. I was trying to work on Prayerfully Yours, when all of a sudden my laptop quit. There were no error messages, no warning of any kind. It just suddenly turned itself off. At first I thought the power cord had come loose, but it hadn’t. Seeing no other apparent reason for it to shut itself off, I decided to restart it, hoping to at least be able to back up what I had been working on. My laptop, however, had other ideas. It refused to stay on. It simply looped itself through the restart process.
To say that I was near panicking at that point would be an understatement. All my work, past and present, was on that one machine and nowhere else. If it quit I had no idea if I would ever be able to retrieve all that information, nor did I know if I could even afford to buy a new laptop right away. So I did the only thing a frustrated non-techie writer could do. I hit the stupid thing.
Okay. It wasn’t my brightest moment, but it made me feel a little better. Tantrum over, I calmly thought of other solutions and , in the end, was able to fix the problem. (At least I hope I did.) What I gained from this unpleasant ordeal were two lessons: 1) always back up your work and 2) it’s imperative to get your financial house in order and establish an emergency fund. Had I done either of these I wouldn’t have panicked. I still would have been frustrated, but at least I would have had a plan.
Long story short, if you haven’t started backing up your work do it now. And if you haven’t read The Money Book by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D’Agnese take time out of your busy life to do that as well. You’ll be grateful you did both when your computer decides to take an unannounced hiatus from work on The Road to Writing.
Update: One possible way to backup your important files is to use CD’s and DVD’s. I’ve found, however, that I don’t like having multiple disks taking up my space or needing to remember to backup my files. I opted to use Mozy.com‘s online services. It’s pretty simple to use once you’ve downloaded the software and it checks your files regularly to see if changes were made and need to be backed up.
The only downside I’ve found thus far is that, if you don’t feel comfortable spending about $5 per month on their unlimited services, you only get 2 gigabytes free. I honestly believed I had less than that until I went to back all my files up. Turns out Mozy wants to back up everything, multiples of files included. That meant spending an hour manually deselecting the files I didn’t need just to bring to space consumption down to under 2 gigs. I’m a try before you buy kinda girl, so, even though it was a hassle to do some manual manipulations, I think the service is worth the effort to find out if $5 a month would be a waste or a reward. Otherwise it’s back to space hogging CD’s.