First and foremost, a friendly reminder: Back up your computer! Do it now! Seriously. I’ll wait.
All done? Good.
So yeah. My computer crashed on Wednesday. And the Apple Geniuses had to wipe my data and restore factory settings. I wasn’t too panicky in the moment, because I was sure we’d backed up my computer fairly recently. In fact, I remembered plugging in the external hard drive this past weekend. But then I got home, restored the last backup, and discovered that I’d lost everything since February 1. Needless to say, that was a LOT of stuff. The good news first: I had a version of my current work-in-progress on a zip drive that was only a week out of date, so I lost a grand total of 1500 words. And my agent had the most recent version of my book deal book, THE CREATION OF HALLELUJAH CALHOUN, so she emailed that back to me. The bad news: I still lost a lot of stuff.
Like many writers, I’m a bit of a packrat. Now that the world is pretty much digital, I have become a digital packrat. But I’m an organized one! I have folders and files for so many things. I keep all of the backup materials for my freelance work—research and notes and interview transcripts. I save multiple drafts of the books I’m writing, just in case I want to look back at that old version of whatever it is at some point in the future. I keep various sticky notes on my computer desktop with bits of information I want to have close at hand: book ideas, revision notes, travel itineraries, even songs that remind me of my book in case I ever want to make a playlist in the future.
And now much of that from the past few months is gone. I have final article drafts (because I submitted them via email), but no interviews or research materials. I have the most recent draft of HALLELUJAH, but I lost a complete set of revisions and notes before that final draft, which I worked on during February and March. My desktop sticky notes are no more. And yes, it could be MUCH worse. I’m supremely thankful that I didn’t lose anything devastating. I have my new book draft, and I have HALLELUJAH ready when my editor sends my revision letter, and I didn’t actually lose any current work projects. But still.
So that’s my PSA for the week, in lieu of a new Friday Reads post (as I am still reading—and loving—A Clash of Kings). Back up your files! Don’t make the mistake I made of assuming you’ve done it recently. Learn from my frustration!
On the bright side, it’s otherwise been a pretty good week. Dance class and rehearsal, yoga, writing, watching junk TV (SharkNado, anyone?), and trying to stay out of the heat wave. This weekend, Justin and I are so excited to have our six-year-old nephew, Max, staying with us from tomorrow evening to Monday morning. We have fun Brooklyn plans… And our California trip (SCBWI LA for me, and then a drive up the coast to San Francisco with Justin) is only a few weeks away! More on that soon…
Stay cool! (And plug in your backup drive. Do it.)