STOP! Back up time!


Camp NaNoWriMo had been slightly exhausting and far more exciting than NaNoWriMo has ever been. For those who don’t know what Camp NaNoWriMo, it’s a summer writing event put on by OLL, the same folks that bring you writing events such as National Novel Writing Month, Script Frenzy, and the Young Writer’s program. Basically Camp NaNoWriMo is the same as National Novel Writing Month (1 50K novel in a month), except it’s in the summer, and this year writers have the option between June and August sessions for their summer time noveling expedition.

This is the first time I’ve done Camp NaNoWriMo. I was excited because I figured being minimally employed would still give me many opportunities to write a novel.  And then my laptop, being an unpredictable mess, decided it wanted to be a virus magnet, have spotty performance issues, and have my internet speeds come to a screeching halt, which meant that it was time to flame the hard drive and start fresh. This is never a situation a writer likes to be in, because your two options are 1) buy a new laptop you may not be able to afford or 2) flame the hard drive, re-install the OS and pray that it’s not a hardware issue.

I’m posting this to remind writers out there to always back up your work. Fortunately, I backed my work up right after I was done writing for the day before I flamed my hard drive so that I could re install Windows on my laptop. This would seem like common sense – always back up your work, especially if you’re going to do something as drastic as flaming your hard drive. However, many writers, even college students, still learn this truth the hard way when their word processors crash after doing an intense writing session.

Constantly save your work, even if you don’t feel you ought to. Back it up to a place like Dropbox or MediaFire where it’s off your hard drive should something go horribly wrong with your hard drive. Have back up of your back ups just in case your thumbdrive gets corrupted or infected or stolen. Invest in an external hard drive and have back ups stored there. There are many ways to back up your novel and your writing information, just do it in a way that’s smart and in a place where you’ll remember to look for it should you end up in a situation where you need that back up.

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