I’m a member of the Author Toolbox Blog Hop. What is it? A chance for authors at any stage in their career to connect by providing helpful posts related to all things writing. The Hop occurs once a month, with the exception of November and December. My post for February 2020 is saving and backing up your work, so read on…
Besides sharing my own experience with saving and backing up my writing, I also consulted four author friends of mine. First, I’ll talk about the importance of saving and backing up your work. Back in the day when everyone used those diskettes, I saved my work to them. There was one problem. Those diskettes could easily break. I lost an entire novel—yes, you read that right—because I didn’t think to use another back-up method.
Big lesson learned. Saving as I write is important. I’ve learned to constantly hit “save” as I write because I once lost a bunch of work when I failed to hit “save” all the time. Hah. I also have the autosave on Word set to one minute, and I changed the location of backup to an easier place for me to access.
I now use One Drive to back up my files. This program comes with MS Office 365 and I find it very handy. Before that, I was using DropBox. But since One Drive is built-in, I thought, why not? I can access my files wherever I go (without having to install the DropBox program), as long as the computer has MS Office. I jump from my desktop to my laptop, my two main writing resources, so I’m always accessing One Drive. I also use the husband’s laptop if mine is out of commission, and it has been. I had to send away my laptop for two weeks to get it fixed. His laptop and One Drive were handy because I had received my edits from my publisher, and I needed to work. One Drive allowed me to keep working. One Drive also allows me to access my files from our place of business if I’m in town.
So I found, for me, One Drive works best.
As for the other authors I consulted, here is what they have to say:
Cameron Allie, writer of erotic romance: “I email it to myself. I think most things are backed up on a flash drive. My newer stuff, I send myself an email each time I update my documents. But I can get to the email of whatever is newest to re-read it and plan out my next scene.”
Being the mother of two very young children, this method works best for Cameron who tends to spend a lot of her time on her tablet.
D.S. Dehel is a writer of erotic historical, contemporary, and paranormal romance. Here’s what she has to say. “I have cloud storage: iCloud and MS Office 365. I also keep copies on hard-drive. A couple of times a year I export to my external hard drive.”
This method works best for D.S. Dehel because “I once lost two weeks’ worth of work revising a novel. Redundancies became my thing then.”
VJ Allison writes small-town contemporary romance set in Nova Scotia. She explains her method as, “I use an external hard drive, and sometimes One Drive when I remember it’s there. I chose the external because it’s easiest for me to remember, and it’s convenient.”
Taryn Jameson, author of sci-fi and fantasy romance, has the following to say about what she uses to back-up her work, “External hard drives. I have four running right now on my machine. 12tb and I dual/or more copy for redundancy. I use this method because I don’t have time to wait if the hotspot goes down to save my stuff in a cloud, or if I am on the road. It goes with me without having to rely on the internet.”
I also know of authors who use Google Docs. They find this method better for saving and backing up. They say Google Docs is constantly saving as they write. And of course, it is backed up to the Google server that they can access whenever they are ready to write again.
And here is a tutorial on how to set up your Word program to save every minute.
What about you? What are your methods for saving and backing up your writing files? It’d be great to hear what others use, and why! Share what else is out there, because I know I haven’t covered everything.