Writing a novel is a huge deal. It is tough and exciting, long and rewarding, emotional and powerful. Those words you produce, those characters you breathe life into, those worlds you create, are more valuable than gold. And nothing could be more heartbreaking than losing it all. So, while it may sound like simple advice, backup your novel. Don’t say you’ll do it next time – do it this time! And here are five ways to do it.
Reality is, your computer could crash at any time. Battery life dwindles unnoticed until it dies, systems glitch, power cuts happen. So be sure you hit the save button on your document regularly. Often, even if a computer has died completely, your files and documents will be salvageable, so make sure your document is up to date to avoid the risk of losing your carefully spent time.
Upload to cloud storage
Thanks to the ever expanding internet, cloud storage has become a backup for more than just documents. Photographs, videos, spreadsheets, databases, games and countless other digital items are all saved up there. Cloud storage also makes it easy for you to access your work should be using a different device.
Copy to an external hard-drive/USB stick
Before the cloud, we had these. And they’re still fantastic. I think sometimes the cloud can feel penetrable, less personal. Whereas an external hard-drive/USB can be kept close. Personally, I have two. A larger one, where I can save every draft, mood board, character chart and plot table. And a smaller one, that fits in my purse and gives me comfort knowing it’s at hand at all times. Just make sure you remember to update these regularly!
Save to another computer
If you have more than one computer, keep a copy on each. Be it a work device, a desktop or laptop. You could even save a copy on the computer of somebody you trust. This additional form of backup gives you a plan b, should anything go wrong with your main device.
Email it to yourself
If you can’t be bothered to grab the USB from your room, or you’re in a rush to leave and ant to be quick, simply pop your latest saved copy in an email. Send this to yourself and you’ve created an automatic backup should anything go wrong. It’s another way to ensure you can access it at anytime, and can be handy for a quick read through on your phone or kindle.
Nothing scares me more than the thought of losing my novel. How do you backup yours? Leave your tips in the comments below.