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I’ve learned a few things since I began writing several years ago. Some of these things I learned through other people’s suggestions. Some I learned through trial and error. I thought I’d jot down some notes here with the hope that you might find them useful:

1. E-mail your work to yourself. This is pretty simple. You can either copy and paste the text into an e-mail, or you can attach it.

2. Get a free Dropbox account. Once you set up the account, a folder will be created on your desktop. Anything you put into that folder will automatically be backed up to your online account. It’s simple, effective, and accessible from any computer and from a good many cell phones and tablets.

3. Box.net is another good site for backing up your files. Once you sign up, you can upload your files onto the site and access them from any computer. As with Dropbox, you can make folders for your files so you can keep everything well organized.

4. Create a blog. This is something I’ve never tried until recently, but it seems like a no brainer for someone who character journals a lot. I like WordPress for a lot of different reasons, but there are many free blogging sites out there. You can create pages for different aspects of your story. You can also create categories and tags to keep everything well organized.

5. Copy your files to a CD/DVD. This used to be my preferred method before I discovered the solutions above. It’s a simple method to use, but one thing I would caution against is overwriting one file with another. I lost a completed novella by overwriting it with an incomplete one, losing a lot of my material in the process. I still haven’t gone back to re-write it.

6. Flash memory cards and USB flash drives. I still use these from time to time. They’re portable, and great for when you want to quickly switch from one computer to another if you don’t have a secure network. You need to beware of the same problem I mentioned above: overwriting files. Use extreme caution. If you can do that, this is a good way to keep your files backed up.

These are just a few things that I’ve tried. They’ve helped me keep everything organized, and I don’t have to be afraid that I’ll lose my work if something happens that’s out of my control. Back up your work, and back it up frequently, because you never know when technology will fail you, or when something else will happen to cause you to lose all of your hard work.

One last note: I would highly recommend using two or more methods here (or others of your choosing). It might seem like an awful lot of effort, but isn’t your work worth it?

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