Blog by Toby Welch

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Backup Your Writing

We've all done it and it's disheartening. You've worked hard on a writing project only to lose it. Your computer is stolen or it crashes and everything you've worked on is gone. Forever. Or the pages you wrote on blew away in a massive gust of wind. You want to find the nearest bridge and jump off. Okay, that's a little drastic but you know what I mean.

Starting today, back up every word you write. If you use a computer, do what I call the poor man's back up. Set up another email account through a reputable company like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo email, that kind of thing. At the end of every writing day, email yourself a copy of whatever you worked on that day. That way, if (heaven forbid!) your house burned down tomorrow and you lost everything, you'd be able to access your writing works from any computer.

If you write in longhand, invest in a scanner. At the end of every writing day, scan the pages onto your computer and email those to your writing email account.

While you won't have to check the account very often, do make a point of going onto it every few months or so. While the newer email programs have lots of space (I've got a Gmail account for my writing backups and after three years it's only 11% full), some of the older email systems don't offer as much storage space. You'd hate to lose your computer and feel confident everything is backed up on email only to discover the inbox is full and you haven't received anything new for months.

Sure, you can use an external hard drive or a USB to back everything up but that can be stolen, destroyed, or malfunction. The email back up is the best solution I have found so far that gives me a high level of confidence that I will never again lose all my writing work. Or for added security, use an external document saving device as well as the email back up; that will cover all your bases.