I am hyperorganized when it comes to the techie aspects of editing and story-drafting. All potential ASF blog post topics get filed neatly in the hard drive in the folder labeled “ASF Blog” by date according to week. All my story drafts get filed in, you got it, “Stories” by date and further identified by version “a,” “b,” or “c,” depending on how the drafting goes.
There is one techie thing, however, I am terrible at. That I have to be reminded to do, and if I am not watched like a five year old who has been told to brush her teeth, I will skip the process, assuming I will never be caught. That thing: backing up my hard drive. Like the tooth-brushing, it doesn’t matter how good it is for me, I resist. I skip. I could go months and months without doing it. As long as there’s no pain, I’ll go without…
You know what’s coming next, don’t you?
About a week ago, yes, of course, my hard drive, she done died. Last backup: Christmas. Oh the pain.
All this to say what you already surmise:
(1) Back up your work regularly. And often.
(2) The slew of lovely notes and links and ideas slated to be this ASF post (and many, many others) are gone forever.
But I have a new hard drive, empty of all data. So.
Ironically, the post you won’t see was about technology tricks for writers. It, too, disappeared when I dropped my laptop on its head and gave the thing a total lobotomy. Bah.
Here’s something I stumbled upon that kinda makes up for the loss. It’s short and sweet and so helpful for writers. And it is a reminder that a disabled computer and freedom from technology are good.
The info came to me from Belle Boggs’ blog. She writes:
“I find the Internet really distracting, especially from the work of writing. It’s so tempting to check your email, read the news, or spy on people. Mac users can download a cool program called Freedom that allows you to disable the Internet for a set period of time, but I write on PC, so I generally just try to exert my willpower.”
Many of you may already know Belle Boggs’s beautifully quiet yet ferocious collection of short stories, Mattaponi Queen, which won the 2009 Bakeless Prize for Fiction (and is just out from Graywolf). I recommend this book. And I recommend freedom–the high-tech form you can click to achieve (looks like it’s available for Windows users, too) not the, ahem, low-tech kind you simply have to destroy your machine to get.
Got any technology tips specifically for writers? Add your comments below. ASF blog readers, including me, will thank you.