Saturday, July 1, 2017

A Stab at a Self-interview: Question 8 ~ losing a draft to electronic failure

Have you ever lost a manuscript or partial draft to electronic failure?

Happily, I can say no. But there is more to my answer than that. I can say no because I have several different automated backups that I use because I have had computers throw up their hands and go black screen on me. And I do panic for a couple minutes. But then I remember I have two external drives (manual system), one Dropbox (automated), one network drive (automated) and emailed copies.

When my daughter was in her senior year in high school, we went downtown and I took pictures of her. They came out amazing and I worked on them all evening. The next day my computer went black. My automated backup system was for all my writing, not for pictures or other work. I had a manual backup system with a external hard drive I used for those since they changed less frequently. I put off backing those lovely pictures up for the next day. Heartbreak.

My daughter and I went out to recreate those pictures. We ended up with other nice ones, but not the ones my memory was certain were the best I'd ever taken.

The Geek Squad came to my rescue and retrieved all the pictures and other documents. Since then I've bought a hard drive reader and when the same computer went black again, I retrieved my recent documents myself.

However, even though I had not lost any work in progress, I had feared that I lost my folder on future novel ideas. It was in a section of my drive I did not bother to back up more than once a year. Thankfully, the Geek Squad retrieved it along with my daughters pictures (which were a great as I remembered them), which in retrospect makes me quite happy as I am currently writing book three of the fantasy series that was inspired by two-pages of notes I kept in that infrequently saved folder and it would have been gone had my luck not held out.

One doesn't have to lose everything to learn a lesson: save everything!


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