I experienced a moment of sheer panty-soiling horror a few nights ago. And since xmas decorations are already up in the grocery store, I’m going to get into the festive spirit and share. Note that some details might be embellished to cast my starving artiste lifestyle in a better light, but you’ll get the drift.
I sat down at my calf-leather armoire beside my reconditioned Edwardian fireplace*, booted up my Macbook and went looking for the sequel to STORMDANCER, which a few of you droogies might know I’ve spent the best part of a year writing. However, Mr Macbook couldn’t find it.
“Strange,” said I, sipping from my snifter of brandy and raising an eyebrow at my faithful hound.**
Dropping back to the desktop, I did the double-clickeroo and journeyed to the folder that contains my sequel. Inside it, I found a series of documents of indeterminate file type, labelled with names like ‘KJBNEUFN’ and ‘G@&JDNXC’. And in that moment, I realized the entire sequel folder and everything inside it had become corrupted. Only the Macgod knows how. It was only that single folder. But the entire sequel had flipped out and been eaten by gremlins. Every draft. All my notes. My diary of a madman scribbles about where the trilogy was headed. Everything.
A year’s work. My baby. Bam. Gone.
“Well,” said I. “That’s a spot of bother.”***
Right before cardiac arrest kicked in, I remembered that a good droogie of mine had turned me onto a program called ‘Dropbox’ a couple of months earlier. And, astonishingly, I had actually been using it to store my sequel as I worked. Diving into the dropbox, I found my baby there, whole and unsoiled (minus about 5 minutes work that I hadn’t saved) and I managed to peel myself off the ceiling. It was all good. Praise the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I would not be forced to ritually disembowel myself with the TV remote.
How I laughed….
After I’d mopped up the vomit, I got thinking about how capital-B bad this could have actually been. Typically, I’ve been pretty ordinary about backing up files – it’s only really fluke that I’d been keeping that folder updated in an online storage space. But if I hadn’t been backing my work up on a regular basis… I don’t even want to think about how badly that would have gone for all concerned.
So, my droogs, I know there are a couple of you out there like me. I know you might let your disaster management routines slide from time to time. But I tell you now, I implore you; BACK IT THE FUCK UP.
Have your words living and up to date in THREE separate locations:
- Sitting on some kind of physical storage device that never leaves your person.
- Emailed to yourself.
- Floating in some kind of online storage space. Here’s a couple of good free ones (if people know of others, suggestions welcome):
Doesn’t take a lot of effort. Maybe 3 minutes at the end of each writing session. Save it. Update the online version. Mail it yourself. Done. But those three minutes can save you some serious pain.
Think of the babies, peoples. Don’t let the gremlins get ’em.
*Slouched on faux-suede couch in my sweat pants and an old Coal Chamber t-shirt
**”Da fuck?” I said, kicking the dog off my lap.
*** “Oh my fucking god,” I said. “OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYFUCKINGGOD.”