This week: When and Where to Keep Backup CopiesEdited by: Dawn Embers
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For Authors Newsletter by Dawn
A look at some options for saving copies of writing in order to avoid loss if something were to happen. While a common topic for NaNoWriMo, it's important year around to save our work and to have more than one location just in case.
Back up your writing!
Figured this time around I'd get right to the point instead of rambling before bringing up the main subject. No matter how long you've been on the site or how much you have written, it's a very good point. Writing can get lost. Things happen. You need at least one secondary location to save your writing in order to ensure the words don't disappear forever. This is a little more difficult if you do all of your writing by hand in notebooks but since this is an online writing site we will assume at least some level of technology used creating some type of digital copy.
The number 1 way to save your writing? Writing.Com!
This site is one of the best methods that I have for backing up my writing. If the computer crashes and needs a complete reboot back to the initial setting (yes, I had to do that to my computer over a year ago) the writing saved on wdc is not touched. Sure the word documents and even scrivener if they aren't saved on a different computer or other method would be lost, but unless the web site closes before a save, the writing here is untouched. Part of the reason I keep my membership level where it is beyond of course all the things I love about the site and my role as a moderator is the fact that it saves all of my writing. And I have a lot, much of which isn't even viewable by others because most of my novels that I'm working on have an item on WDC too. And trust me it's very necessary. I have a NaNoWriMo attempt that I for some reason didn't get saved on the site. I managed only a few thousands words and still remember the general idea but have no idea what happened to any of the writing. The first attempt of that epic fantasy series is gone forever. Learn from my mistake. Save you writing here.
Another option to backup the items whether with word, scrivener or any other writing computer program is something external. By this I mean an external hard drives though this could also include small options like (USB) thumb drives. These can be purchased at a number of different locations and have varying capacities with how much they hold. At the very least, you want to have a thumb drive or two in order to save your writing. I have novels saved on a penguin shaped one, cause why not. An external hard drive comes in handy though, in particular when moving a lot of files from one computer to the other and having that data saved just in case something happens. Downside is they aren't perfect and at times some computers might not detect the connection, which will make it difficult to then transfer any information. However, in the end having that back up that is not on the same device as the main file is a good idea.
While these get saved on the same system, the same computer, there are a few different writing programs that can be used and having the same story saved in a different format/program does have a little merit. When considering things like submitting to publishers or even self publishing, there are going to be some programs that will be more common that others. I write often with scrivener, or well the old version of scrivener as the upgrade costs more, but not many places will accept a scrivener file. For that you will also want to at some point put everything over to a program like word or another common program. Some of them also have online saving options like through the use of google (google docs, etc), so there are some backup options that can come in handy for writers.
Overall, there are options for how you can save your writing and it's a good idea to use more than one method. Make sure you back up the work on a regular basis. Save your writing and once you're done, write some more!
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Where do you backup your writing? What do you use?
Over a year ago, I wrote about using personal life in order to come up with stories as a For Authors newsletter. The topic at the time related to using inspiration in order to create fiction and a few writers had something to say in return. Here are comments that were sent in all the way back then:
Comment by Raghav R
Yes. Inspiration can come from anywhere. In fact if we care to look around us, everything that we see, every incident that occurs, although insignificant it may look, can inspire us into various activities - like writing a poem, a short story or a beautiful painting or strains for a melodious song. Yes, if only we use our keen eyes, ears and the power of observation.
Thanks to the Editor for bringing this fact through the letter.
Comment by Connieann's totem is a turtle
Someone said if you can't think of something to write about, do something worth writing about. Good advice.
Comment by dragonwoman
Yes I often use life experiences to write something. For instance, I was in a restaurant and bar that had a pool table. The sounds of the balls hitting each other, got the creative juices flowing and with a fistful of paper napkins(this was before I started carrying a notebook) and pen I borrowed from a waitstaff, I wrote the beginning of a story where a disgruntled pool hustler makes a pool ball bomb to destroy the place that won't let him hustle.
Comment by Fyntastic!
All the time! There is truth to the jokes about being written into stories. I look at almost everything as story potential...I don't think about thinking that, it is habit --I just do it. Hours spent in an ER? Look at it as research. Three hours in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles? Research - talk to characters -- oops! I mean people. Hmm. Or do I?
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