There’s just no way you don’t want to back up regularly… everything, yes, but your writing even more so. This is a part of you, your blood and sweat and tears, your baby, your creation. To me just the thought of losing any of my writing is enough to send me scrambling from my bed in the dark of the night to make sure I’ve got some recent writing or edits safely backed up… and the thought of losing *all* of it is… well… it’s unthinkable. I mean, really. I’ve managed to accept (barely) the idea that I’ll lose all my stories when I die. Losing them in any other way is simply not acceptable.
I backup several different ways; I have a 1-Tb Passport external drive on which I back up all my data … documents, music, pictures, videos, etc., plus I have my writing backed up additionally on both One Drive and Goggle Drive.
Possibly I’m a bit paranoid, but let’s face it.. BAD things can happen to anyone, at any time, with or without warning. Theft. Fire. Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Earthquakes. Tsunamis. Volcanic eruptions. Okay so that’s drifting into the paranoid area again but you get the idea.
Now.. why all these different ways? Isn’t it overkill? I don’t think so (paranoia aside). First off, an external drive can hold HUGE amounts of data, plus, it’s fast and easy to transfer files (which can be grrrrrrrrrr annoyingly slow on any of the cloud type connections), also if you buy a new computer or tablet or something, just zoom and it’s done. It’s lightweight and portable, too. If you’re going to be traveling, or want to go hang out and write at a cafe or crit group, just toss it into your laptop bag and off you go… just in case, you know, you wind up somewhere there’s no internet connection and you can’t get to OneDrive or Google Drive to work on your manuscript. Remember you have to rely on an internet connection to access things saved on OneDrive or Google Drive (or Cloud, et al.).
So if you have your writing saved to a Passport, why bother with OneDrive or Google Drive or Cloud? Look back up at the list of Bad Things that can happen. Almost no one really thinks this would happen to them, and most of those things (hurricanes excepted) you often can’t see coming. If… gods forbid… your house burns down, your computer is *melted*. So is your Passport (or CD or flash drive or whatever). A thief might just take your computer, which is bad enough, but if he/they have a lot of time they might clear out such things as external drives, flash drives, etc. Seems unlikely, but these are YOUR stories we’re talking about. Do you really want to *count* on that?
Back to the paranoid issue, why OneDrive *and* Google Drive? Because in a disaster, I don’t know what I’ll have time (if any) to rescue… I might wind up with my tablet or laptop or Passport, I might not. I might not even have my phone. That means I’ll have to be able remember my login and password, in the absence of ANY device that would get me logged in from a library or whatever. Since I’ve just, obviously, *lost* everything, I’m going to be relying on my memory alone, at a time when I’m guaranteed to be stressed practically right out of my mind. By using both OneDrive and Google Drive, I have two shots at actually remembering a login and password, not just one.
Space becomes an issue for non-text data such as music, videos, pictures. Those I keep backed up to the Passport reasonably regularly, and every year on Jan 1st I have made an annual “event” out of backing up absolutely everything to the Passport… the Event includes cheese and sausage and crackers, petit fours and iced tea and/or hot cocoa (depending on the weather) and a huge pot of spaghetti, and listening to the audiobook of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” On my Emergency Preparedness list, the Passport is third on my list of things to grab, after my purse and my cat.
But text takes up a tiny amount of data, so really there’s no reason not to utilize the various cloud services to keep your wonderful, precious stories for ever, no matter what! I also like to have hard copy of my manuscripts in binders… not so much for backup purposes anymore (OMG can you imagine re-typing??!!!) but because it makes me happy to look at the row of binders on my desk hutch.
So… back up! Do it! Do it NOW!