What a week. Here is how I started out my previous Monday.
Working from the desktop in my office I was looking for an older Excel file that for whatever reason, I needed to access. I guess because it was Monday and I was lacking in coffee or tea, I decided to start cleaning out files.
My search for this particular file ended up resulting in nothing being found. As I began to delete a few folders that literally had nothing in them, I deleted a file that was created earlier in the year which contained two pieces which will form part of my next short collection.
As I have spent most of this week beating the living daylights out of myself over this. These stories were two really good pieces that I was rather proud of. So in the coming days my plan is to recreate them and build on the error.
This is an opportunity to make the two pieces much better than they were. I still have the ideas and premises that formed them. Thankfully, it will be relatively easy to crib these two pieces back together. Meanwhile there is the issue of doing all I can to prevent this from happening again.
When I wrote Planned UnParenthood and Throwing Dice, I copied the files every few days to a flash drive and a secondary location on the computer hard drive. Another place I could have backed up my files was to my web mail program. This is a no-brainer when you think of the benefits. If you use a web mail program you can customize so much on it that it can be transformed into a useful file backup system. Provided you continually change your security settings in order to maximize securing of your content, it can work really well.
If you are working on a major project you can open a file folder with the name of the project as its’ header. As you email yourself copies of the most recent documents, you can delete previous ones or save them as different versions in the event you want to keep multiple backups of work. For freelance writers, note that it is equally critical that client work is backed up as often as your own creative pages.
It really is a simple solution that is cost-effective and practical. The 10 pages I lost could have been 100. Representing several hours of writing and editing that may have been lost for good. Mistakes can be made. Learn from them and build yourself to be better in the writing biz.