Keep Your Ideas in the Clouds

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You work long hours carving your words into an image, finding just the right verbs, the perfect turn of phrase, the most excellent comebacks. Your dialog is sharp, your prose is perfect, and your imagery is breathtaking. Writing your book has been a labor of love, something you feel almost paternal about. After all, you’re giving birth to something important. Then, in a moment, it disappears.

You’re gasping in shock. But–!

If you write long enough, your chances of enduring endure a writing disaster of one kind or another seem inevitable. With the introduction of cloud services, this may seem like a no-brainer to you. I’m from the ancient era of saving documents on your computer, emailing them to yourself, copying them on discs (CD’s not floppies. I’m not that old!) or jump drives. Even then, it is of utmost importance to pay attention.

Just recently, the book I’ve been working on for over a year had finally reached a critical revision stage. I’d taken 30 days off, (the NaNoWriMo break!) and went back to it with a fresh perspective. I had been working on it sporadically for six weeks. Somehow during the national novel writing frenzy, I’d managed to copy the book from the cloud and onto my desktop. A fact I didn’t realize until I woke up one cold January morning and found my computer blank-screened and beeping, instead of booting up.

None of those weeks of revisions had been backed up. Normally, I depress the panic button if I’ve worked for 30 minutes and lose those tweaks; six weeks was beyond anything I could wrap my head around. Some of you remember my panic over an enormous file loss (all of my written work for nearly ten years. See link at the end of this post.)

Instead of flipping out, I comforted myself with the knowledge that I’d managed to move all book related projects to a specific memory stick and Dropbox. My life wasn’t over or even delayed. I had options of retrieval to pursue and in play. They involved a few less costly repairs (how does RAM go bad??) And once again, two weeks later, I got my book revisions back. I can’t press this enough. Save everything. Find a way to schedule file saving and /or work out of a cloud.

Click here to read about another saga regarding backing up files… Unlikely Houseguest

How are you saving your precious hours of writing?

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. JEOcean says:

    I am pretty sure you’ve had a computer longer than I have. They were already heading into CD’s by then.

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  2. I am liking it as I know exactly how you feel Juli as this past summer I lost ALL my writings on my laptop. Now mind you I do have some of my last copies on print outs, written down in various notebooks and organized in portfolios and somewhat most current on my different flashdrives and discs so not all lost. It was actually Sam, who after this incident had happened told me I should use Dropbox app. I still haven’t started an account there, but will. I am supposedly told my case isn’t that bad that I just need to see a tech guy about trying to pull them off and put on external harddrive. But, this whole experience has given me a wake up call and realization that technology can decide when it wants to work or not. Thanks so much for making this post!

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    1. JEOcean says:

      You are so welcome, WhittyWhit! What I haven’t told you is that after my other computers crashes,
      (there were at least 11) I lost all of that writing. Back then I wasn’t very serious about my writing
      and aside from one story (Blue Sky–Karyl, remember? The new family member who was in pictures???)
      I have not missed anything I’ve written. I don’t try to remember it either. My major works I try to print
      one good hard copy but nothing is foolproof. Dropbox is pretty awesome for a free service and you can earn more
      space by inviting others to join you. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Karyl Griffin says:

    I have one thing to say to you……….how did you miss the save to floppy stage? I have (somewhere in a shoebox) files I saved to floppy discs. You’re not that much younger than me. 🙂

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    1. JEOcean says:

      I didn’t get a computer as early as you did. Mine were much later models. Winke WInk!

      Like

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