The blog I was planning to post won't get posted today because my laptop crashed last night while I was working on it. All I did was close the lid, unplug, walk from one room to the other, plug in again and bam. Nada. No power, no laptop, no blog. I've had computers die on me before without warning. You think I'd learn.
Yeah well. The laptop's in the shop and I'm on the library system. I've still got my desktop, the circa-1990 Troglodyte 1000. That's the only one that has a printer. I can type stuff on it and print things out, but its system isn't compatible with anything created in the 21st century. Looks like I'm in for a lot of retyping until Mr. Lappy gets fixed.
Hence today's words of wisdom: KEEP BACKUPS. Backup everything you write on a computer, and then make a backup for your backup. Keep the backups in a secure place separate from your usual storage space, like at your mom's house or something. What if a flood hits? (Don't laugh; here in southcentral PA we got hit hard by Tropical Storm Lee a couple weeks ago. Harrisburg is still drying out.) If you're writing a novel, backup or print out chapter by chapter. Nobody wants to get to the end of a 120K-word novel, then lose the whole thing if their finger slips. Not only will you guarantee you have a copy of your work, that growing stack of paper looks damned impressive sitting next to the keyboard at the end of the day.
I'm old enough to favor paper as my saving system of choice. If it turns out I do lose my files, I've still got printed copies. The only thing possibly gone for good is about 1000 words of a story I was writing directly on the laptop (the laptop has no printer). Even that's not such a big deal, since I have the beginning in longhand. It's that humongous novel I had typed in there. I've got a paper manuscript, but yeesh, the amount of retyping I'll have to do if I want to email it somewhere. Why didn't I save that to the flash drive when I had the chance? Yeah. Live and learn.
I'm hoping this won't be anything serious and all my files will be intact when I get the laptop back. In the meantime, it's back to longhand drafts and printing out my typing on the Troglodyte on a daily basis. Also make more use of flash drives. Like The Who sang about, won't get fooled again.