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Back up, Back up, Back up

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For the love of God, people, back up your computers!

My hard drive crashed the other day. Luckily, I do have at least most of the files backed up to an external drive. So I can restore without too much pain and discomfort. I’ll lose some stuff (like that copy of Faster Pussycat’s greatest hits and those photos I took as part of my application to star on High School Musical), but not the whole shebang. Just for giggles, I’m going to spend this weekend testing out the geek legend that you can get data off a failed hard drive, in some instances, by freezing it.

But the whole thing definitely impressed upon me the need to have a good back up strategy in place. And most importantly of all, you must actually use that strategy for it to work. 

And here’s something else for you long-toiling writers out there… Think about also keeping a backup of your material off-site somewhere. There were lots of New Orleans writers affected by Hurricane Katrina who lost everything. They had backups, but stored inside the home. So if you’ve spent the last decade working on your novel or that exhaustively researched biography of Jim Varney, then maybe you want to keep copies of those files in a safe deposit box. Or buried in the plains of Montana or something.

I’ve even heard of some nervous writers who go so far as to wear a thumb drive on a string around their neck in order to protect their manuscript files. So let’s hear it. What’s your craziest back up story or superstition?