Back It Up!

Today I’m going to give you two pieces of advice: Write it Down and Back it Up. We’re going to start with Back It Up.

Now, you may be wondering what brought this on, and I’m only too happy to tell you. As anyone who has a blogger blog can tell you, Blogspot had a minor meltdown last week. As a result, Thursday went missing – posts, comments, the whole damn day – gone. Some of the posts have returned but none of the comments so far, and one of my dear e-friends lost her entire freaking blog! All that wonderful writing, all those pictures, all that hard work - poof, vanished, nowhere to be found. Okay, so it did eventually come back, but what if it hadn’t?

Most of what I write on my blog is also saved as a document file on my lap top. But just to be on the safe side I went through my archives on the weekend to make sure I didn’t forget anything. Paranoid much? You betcha!

I have Word set to save every couple of minutes when I’m writing. At the end of the week everything gets backed up to a USB key – a lot of the time I’m working straight off the USB key anyway because my lap top is old and crotchety and yeah, it’s crashed on me before. And, just in case something happens to my USB key, it’s backed up to a second USB key. AND every couple of months I back up my lap top, computer, and USB key to a DVD.

I can hear it now, all those little voices saying, “She must be crazy.” Well, I freely admit it. I would much rather be crazy than sorry.

Okay, on to the Write It Down rant.

While I was doing through my blog archive, I came across a post about SNIS (shiny new idea syndrome) and right in the midst of it was this:

I started thinking about this being the Year of the Tiger. And then this tiger took up residence in my mind. And then I started what iffing and before I knew it I had a full fledged story idea.

I tried to resist, really I did. But the more I resisted, the stronger the idea got, like it was feeding on my resistance. And then I started thinking about my MMC and thought, "what if he had brothers?" Next thing I know I've got his six brothers in my head, clamouring for attention.

I have absolutely no clue what this idea was. It might have something to do with were-tigers, but then again maybe not. Seven brothers? Really? Sounds like a series of some kind to me. But I can’t even remember the main character, let alone any of his six brothers. And why is this? Because I didn’t write it down.

There are some who would say that if you can’t remember it, it probably wasn’t a worthwhile idea in the first place. Yes, well, we’ll never know, will we? This happened over a year ago – I’m lucky to remember last week, let alone last year. I get so many ideas and there’s only so much room in my head for them all. Normally, I’ll write an idea down and then I can feel free to forget about it. But no, apparently not this time.

What probably happened was I meant to write it down but I got distracted. Sometimes my attention span isn’t the greatest. The sad part is, if I hadn’t re-read that post this whole thing would be moot, but I did read that post and now the thought of a lost idea out there all by itself is going to drive me crazy. At least until I come up with a better idea, and this time I’ll write it down.

So, I’m here to tell you now, no matter how inconsequential an idea may be, write it down! Write it down and then back it up. Do it, do it now!


Steven Chapman said...

I’m constantly scribbling down ideas, dialogue, setting and just random flashes of nonsense. Every now and again I’ll find a random scrap of paper, post-it not or a ragged chunk of cardboard (whatever was handy at the time) and I’ll sit and have a laugh or a cry at my crazy ideas. Some of them are gems, some of them are crap but almost all of them are forgotten. Like you said the act of writing them down frees up your brain to concentrate on your current ideas, although it’s great fun when you find an old idea! I’ve used a few of these in my work when I found them moping in a drawer and some of them are pretty good, you can’t ignore your brain when it tries to throw a little bit of inspiration your way!

graceunderpressure said...

you lost 7 brothers??? Good Lord, I wonder what they've gotten up to in the meantime... Can you write down the bits you remember? Maybe the rest will come back to you. Maybe the six brothers are meant to look for their seventh brother, but he's been gone so long that they aren't sure they'd recognise him... ok, enough...

Nofretiri said...

I prefer being paranoid, too, instead of missing my hard work! OMG, I've learnt my lesson quite the hard way ... I've almost lost my diploma project because of a stupid computer problem! *aaargh* Not to forget my last year horror during NaNo! Thanks, but no thanks! But I guess, it's like with the hot oven plate, you can't imagine what hot means until you've exerienced the pain by yourself! *sigh* And still later on, it's too easy to forget again! *double-sigh*

I don't mind to lose anything from my blog posts, because I used to write everything in advance in my good old word document ... THEN I just had to copy everything in blogger!

BUT I should really better cary some notepad or whatever with me to scribble down my ideas and thoughts ... would be wise to do so!

Karin @ Nofretiris Dream Of Writing
Back again! Luckily! Puh!

sue said...

For a moment there I thought you must have been channeling me! I wrote about my laptop dying on Sunday night and the cold stomach churning chill knowing that NOTHING at all was backed up, no word files, no photos, no work stuff, nothing at all. YUK. I have swags of notebooks and little scraps of paper including receipts that I jot notes on, I'm better with that for saving ideas. Sue

K.C. Woolf said...

I tend to write down ideas on scraps of paper and notebooks that are scattered all over the house.

Thanks for the reminder about backups. It'd been a while since I'd exported my blog. ;-)