Back up everything. Now.

I got a burst of brilliance as I was mulling over how to revive the half dead corpse that is my NaNo 2011 novel. The stroke of brilliance was to abandon any pretensions I had at writing a trilogy and just cram as much as the narrative as I could into the novel without being overbearing. I will probably, at some point, cut it in two, or maybe the narrative will do that naturally. But this narrative cramming involved an antagonist that I had only *sort of* introduced (by which I mean, I dropped her name on occasion, but I never properly dealt with her. So I was going to dive into her back story, some of which involved introducing another kingdom, but there was a problem with this burst of brilliance.

It turns out that I was an idiot prior to writing this novel. Prior to NaNo 2011, I deleted a journal that was receiving little attention from me, and I thought to back up entries for all of my other novels. I hadn’t thought to back up the notes for the region that my novel is set in, which means I lost the name of three kingdoms, which, at this moment, is a huge tragedy.

I was smart enough that I had backed up a blurb of three of the six kingdoms because those notes had originally been written in a journal that was not exactly dedicated to my novel because it was there when I was at church waiting for the evening service to begin. So I typed up the information I did have in my little note book into my little notes file and I printed it out and even copied the text to the corresponding OneNote file for my novel.

However, I had also copied this to a writing journal I had used on LiveJournal, and I expanded on my fantasy region there. I know I expanded it because I know that there was one kingdom where magical people lived. That was the only kingdom in this region where you could find magical people and be accepted for performing magic. Now I can’t find the name for it and I’m kicking myself now for not backing it up.

This was also at a time when that particular journal was gradually receiving less and less attention from me. I had Scrivener and OneNote doing all of my noveling duties, especially in the note taking department. Eventually, I went through my tags and backed up novel notes for all of my NaNo novels in OneNote… all except this one.

So the story of this tale is, if you ever have an online writing journal, please back it up. Back them up someplace where they will always be preserved. Just like losing your novel if you don’t back it up, you will bitterly regret it if you don’t back up your notes.

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