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Lightning strikes. Literally. And fries every single electronic item in your house/apartment/flat/bungalow/shanty. And the 85,000 word manuscript you’ve been working on for over a year, which you’ve foolishly only saved to your hard drive, is gone.
There’s no repairing a hard drive or motherboard when its been touched by lightning. Not even touched, but merely in the close vicinity of it.
Which is why this post is about advising, urging, demanding that you back up all of your files. And when I say backup your files, I don’t mean in several folders on the same computer. That’s just asking for Murphey’s law.
I mean on a completely separate electronic device, like an external storage device, or even emailing it every week to your mother, sister, brother, or best friend’s former roommate who doesn’t know what a manuscript is (but at least understands email).
My husband and I recently went through a similar scenario this week. Horrible lightning storms ripped through Texas, and one struck fairly close to our house. And while my laptop and his computer were safe, A LOT of our other electronic devices weren’t. Like our backup storage device. Completely caput.
I’m glad to say I wasn’t crying this week. My manuscripts are safe on my precious Macbook, and I’m smart enough to email my completed manuscripts and WIP’s to my mother. And often (every 2 or 3 weeks). Thanks, Mom!
But I can’t imagine the pain and anguish I would feel of losing one of my electronic ‘babies’ to an evil lightning strike that I can’t even swear at and pick a fight with later. And even if I could, it would definitely win with 10,000 amps and a trillion watts of energy. Losing what I’ve sweated and toiled over for countless hours would make me want to fire a gun into the next storm cloud that dare passes over my county. (A lot of good that would do!)
But that brings up an important question. Not just for writers, but for anyone who has precious files on their computers, like music, or wedding photos, baby videos of birth/first steps/ the iconic birthday cake all over the face shot, and other minor stuff like banking information and tax returns. What do you do if your backup fails? Like ours just did.
There’s a lot of new hype over online storage databases, where they charge $25-100/year to backup all your precious files however many times you wish and there’s no risk of losing it from mean Mother Nature or vicious criminals who love five-finger-discounts. I’ve never used them, but after this week, they’re looking more appealing.
Clearly I’m focusing on computer files. I haven’t touched the other electronics that we lost this week (phones, cable boxes, alarm sensors, smoke detectors). Since I’m a writer and spend most of my time on the computer, that’s where my focus is. But wherever your most important electronic factors in your life are, make sure it’s backed up. Somehow.
At the end of the day, none of my family was hurt, our house wasn’t burned down, and the sun will rise again. That’s the best part. But if you’re able, back up your life.
Now I’m off to get ready for the next set of storms.
- Methods of BackingUp Work (sallyjenkins.wordpress.com)