Back Up Your Work!

I had a mini-heart attack this morning. Okay, it was actually a major heart attack (figuratively speaking).

I plugged in my thumb drive to add a note to my epic fantasy manuscript and saw, to my horror, that my Scrivener file I saved last night after typing was gone!

How could this be possible? The only thing I can think of is that there was a glitch with my thumb drive and the file didn’t save like it was supposed to. The one from earlier in the week (a dated backup) was still there, but it wouldn’t open because somehow it had become corrupt. This is the stuff of nightmares.

Of course, after pouring your inspiration into a few thousand words, the last thing you want to think of is all that work being for naught.

So, you can imagine my relief when I remembered that I made a backup copy of my project before shutting down – on my Desktop. I was also able to salvage an extra version of my typing from the previous months and assemble it in a new file if anything else goes wrong.

This sort of nightmare can happen to any writer in the middle of a project. One day everything is fine, and the next you are scrambling to try to recover work that has taken you months to achieve. As a safety, Scrivener saves a backup copy of your latest project (along with past iterations) in the Library folder, so I was also able to find my words saved there (and breathe a sigh of relief). But, my advice to all writers out there is to make an absurd amount of backups of your project.

Burn a data dvd as a fail-safe if you can. Have two thumb drives, an A copy and a B copy. Save your files in DropBox, or Google Drive – anywhere that you can in case something goes wrong. I am certainly going to be buying a new thumb drive after work today and will be sure to have everything safe and secure.

Just like life, a creative project can be taken away in an instant. Be thankful as you work, even through the tough times, and have a safety in place – just in case!

2 thoughts on “Back Up Your Work!

  1. I am so afraid of losing my 20-100k word stories that I have at least three different ways of saving for each piece … lots of flash drives and sd cards in this house… 😛 when I am using scrivener I love the auto save… im glad your work didn’t disappear

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    • Thanks, tlclark! I definitely invested in two new thumb drives, and I finally used the Scrivener auto save to recover a rough version…just in case! I’m only at 50K words right now on an estimated 75,000, and I can’t even imagine losing 100K! I think I would be sick if that happened. :b

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