Dire Warnings from a Broken Computer

Oh no! Not again!!

I meant to post a status update yesterday, but my laptop fizzled and died.  It was pretty traumatic, and I just stopped working for the evening altogether, which admittedly wasn’t the most productive way to handle it.  Unproductive, and unsuccessful, as it is still sitting there in all its broken misery and I’m stuck using my husband’s computer.  But it reminded me of a lesson I learned the hard way–always, always save your files on a usb drive, or store them somewhere besides the hard drive of your computer.

Now, I know that sounds like pretty obvious advice, and it is, but it can be easy to forget.  You do a bunch of work, forget to have your usb drive with you, and just figure you’ll save on it later.  A couple weeks go by, same deal, and before you know it you’ve got a whole new draft sparkling away in your hard drive.  And that’s when your computer decides to crash…and trust me, all the tears in the world won’t save you.  I know, I tried.  What did end up saving me was having a smart, computer savvy brother-in-law, and even he couldn’t get the newest draft off my laptop, but at least he was able to rescue my first draft, so instead of eighty hours of work I just lost about twenty.  This was about a year ago, and I’ve since then, I’ve finished draft twelve of that book and I have it saved on two usb drives, my laptop, and my husband’s desktop, just to be sure.  No more chances for me.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t smart enough to save all the myriad of other stories I’ve written, so I have about a dozen short stories and another novel’s first draft floating around somewhere in the broken shell that was my laptop.  Again, not my smartest move, but I’m slowly learning.  This time, if I can get it up and running again, I’m saving everything.  Every scrap of word I ever wrote is going to be tucked away on a nice, safe drive, and I’d suggest you all do the same.

On a more positive note, I finally figured out my whole working situation.  I’m getting a temporary part-time position with my current company, so after April 16th I’ll be working only two days a week through June 30th.  Once the fiscal year is over, though, it’ll be time for me to shuffle onward to my next part-time job.  I have to admit, I’m pretty excited and nervous all at the same time.  Excited because I’m hoping my writing will improve a lot faster if I’m spending a good chunk of each day on it, instead of the hour or two I can usually manage after work, and nervous because everything I’ve read says you shouldn’t quit your day job to be a writer until you’ve been publishing regularly for five years, and are able to live off the royalties.  But hey, sometimes you’ve gotta take a risk, and if it fails and you end up moving back into your parents basement, well, at least you tried.  Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

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Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 3:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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