It's IWSG day. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for hosting this monthly event where writers can share insecurities. I'm processing more than one writerly insecurity right now. To keep things simple, I'll share just one of them.
Shortly after I came back from the SCBWI conference in LA, my computer's hard drive crashed. My husband couldn't fix it. So we dropped off my hard drive with a computer doctor who has a hard-core reputation for reviving comatose laptops. A few days after he received our hard drive, this IT doctor called my husband and said he couldn't fix it. And neither could the other IT expert he'd later passed along my hard drive to.
I mentioned this dilemma, in private, to one writer friend. But I didn't blog about it here because I try to avoid turning to the Internet when I'm freaking out about something. And boy, was I freaking out. The idea of a big chunk of my NaNoWriMo novel, lost. The idea of other valuable files, lost.
Fortunately, as I carefully went through my stuff, I began to appreciate the worrier and "what if" planner that is Past Me. After running several searches on my email account, I found that I had emailed one copy of my most recent WIP draft to myself earlier in the summer. I also found some other significant files on a USB stick that I rarely use. And Past Me is often sentimental and reluctant about deleting certain images from my cameras' memory cards. So after digging through my house for this old point-and-shoot camera that I have, I recovered some of my children's pictures, which to me, are priceless.
But I didn't recover everything. Some stuff from my expired hard drive, gone forever. *Long and wistful sigh*
Still, I'm grateful that I didn't lose everything.
Since my hard drive crashed, I have a new laptop. I've also been using Dropbox and Google+ to save my stuff. I'm still getting used to the idea of saving something I'd written onto the Internet. But, at the risk of sounding cliche, I'd rather be safe than sorry. If I was somewhat particular about saving things before, I would say I'm very particular now. Sometimes I still feel insecure about whether I'm backing up my work as often as I should be.
How often do you back up your work? Have you ever lost an important file on your hard drive?
Has Past You ever helped Future You?