Computer trouble can really kill a good writing session. My laptop has been on the fritz for a while. It overheats, the power cord overheats, and then while I’m in the midst of composing a beautiful scene, the whole thing shuts down. (Before all the computer people start offering me advice or telling to take it off my lap, it happens when it’s on a table too… The 2011 date it was made might have something more to do with it…)
I almost had an episode of great weeping and gnashing of teeth when the thing wouldn’t start for over 30 minutes.
Anywho, time to say thank goodness for a lot of things, which kept me from totally hitting the panic button. (i.e. Do these things to protect your data of your computer crashes.)
Store any file that has to do with writing or promotion on Dropbox (or something similar). The exception to this for me are my old radio shows and videos, which take up too much free space. I don’t really need to keep the shows, and I have the videos backed up on CD’s. (And they are already live on YouTube anyway.) As you have Internet when you it save your file, your dropbox will update. It makes traveling without wifi a pain though, which is why my next computer will be lighter and smaller.
Seriously consider downloading the Microsoft Word app to your smart phone and tablet. While I was waiting for my computer to cool down, I was getting my iPad and other keyboard ready so I could start writing. Since I keep my stuff in Dropbox, I can access it anywhere with anything.
Paper is still a viable product. You can write on paper if all else fails. I know, it’s so old fashioned. But paper doesn’t lose its ability to function when the mainframe dies. And paper is much better than some cheesy note pad app like Pentultimate, which changed the format of all the notes and has officially prevented me from accessing my two years worth of horror short story ideas that I had been jotting down in it because digital was supposed to be “so much better”. (You have not seen great weeping and gnashing of teeth if you haven’t seen me the day I decided to apply the Pentultimate update and lost everything.) I am finding myself going back to using paper, especially for certain kinds of notes and such.
Hide the sharp and/or blunt objects. Invest instead in a Starbucks card. Self-harm = bad. Coffee = good.
I love all of you guys! I don’t want you to go into catatonic shock when your computer shuts down (as I did about 10 years ago when I really lost everything). So here is a quick review on how to survive a computer malfunction: Dropbox, MS Word app, Paper, and Starbucks.
How about you? Any computer horror stories out there? How do you back your stuff up?