Backing Up Your Novel

Do you back up  your novel?

Last night, I was out for dinner and a friend asked me if I kept printed copies of my novels. Since I’ve spent the last five years living on a sailboat, my answer was no.

My friend was incredulous.

Of course, I had to start thinking about it – at three in the morning – when the worry fairy comes to visit.

I back up to an external hard drive.

I email a copy to my dad for safe keeping. While we were living on the boat, I worried a lightning strike would take out all out electronics, so even it my back up was on a separate hard drive, I thought it wasn’t enough.

The question is: do I need a paper copy too?

Thanks for reading . . .


How Often Do you Back Up Your Manuscript?

So I woke up one day and my computer didn’t turn on.


No satisfying noises, no flashy colours. Nothing.

Before I started to cry, I thought about when I’d last made a backup of my work.

Three days. Three days of irreplaceable words. Could I find them in my mind again? Maybe. Maybe they would even be better, but maybe not. Now I’m wondering why I don’t print anything.

Three days is too long. What was I thinking? Lucky for me, I think my computer got damp from dew. A day later, after I hadn’t touched it – and that was hard – it worked. All my writing was there.

What did I learn?

  • I back up every night now.
  • I back up onto a separate hard drive.
  • In case we take a lightning strike on our boat, I also back up off site. I use a server somewhere out there on the Internet and put my work there once a week.

How often do you back up? Enough to keep you 🙂 ?