Back Up Your Work

What is the first rule of having a writing project? Back up your work. Your writing should be backed up in four different places not including your computer.

1) Online storage

Not only is your work stored online (protected), but you can access it from your mobile devices as well. This allows you to continue your research and writing anywhere, and anytime. Here are some examples of online storage:

2) USB Thumb/Flash drive

This is a drive to attach to your keychain, or toss in your makeup bag. Although they aren’t saved in real-time like the online servers, it still is an excellent idea to have it as a backup. Flash drives can be bought online or in stores ($6-$150). They can range in storage size from 4 GB – 128 GB, and are the physical size of a ChapStick. Here are a few types:

3) External drive

An external drive is capable of storing much more than a few files. Usually, then can store the backup of your entire computer, plus room for other files. You can find desktop as well as portable versions, both online and in stores. The storage size runs from 250 GB – 4 TB ($70-$1000). Here are some examples of external hard drives:

4) Email to yourself

This is sometimes referred to as the modern poor-man’s copyright. However, don’t rely on that as being so. Here is a link about the true rules of copyrights. Emailing it to yourself does, however, allow you to be sure you have another copy stored in case the unthinkable happens.

When emailing the document to yourself, include information that will make it easily searchable (in case you need to find that version in later years). Most email providers can search the text in the emails if you include:

    • Book Title
    • Last updated as of (00/00/0000)

If you have these backups, then if your computer is misplaced or crashes, you still have your work. If you are out of town, you still have your work. If a flood takes out all the online storages, you still have your work. Daily, remember to back up your backups. Always.

Finish Your Book…Already

[found on; by Joseph Finder]

“1. Just write it. Fix it later. That means: don’t worry about word choice or grammar. Don’t worry about getting your facts right.

2. You do have time — if you really want to do it. You have a full-time job? A family? Carve out an hour or two early in the morning before the rest of the house gets up, or before you go to work. Or at night, if you’re not too wiped out to write. Try to make this a regular time slot — do it at the same time each day, for the same amount of time. Make it a habit. I know a number of writers who finally started making enough money from their writing to be able to quit their day jobs, only to discover that, as soon as they started writing full time, they suddenly became far less efficient. All that time stretching before them in the day — the two hours of writing per day they used to squeeze in here and there now took them eight hours. There’s something to be said for not having a lot of free time to write. It tends to make you more efficient.

3. Writing is a job. Treat it like one. I don’t work at home; I have an office, and I go there to write. If you don’t have an office, you should set aside a place that is just for you and your writing – the attic, the basement, a corner of the laundry room with a screen around it. If you treat your writing like work, your family and friends should do the same, and be more respectful of that writing time. No one thinks twice about interrupting a hobby, so make it clear that it’s not a hobby; it’s work. It’s your time.

4. Be ruthless in managing your time. This is the biggest problem most writers have. I have a big old hourglass on my desk for use on those days when I’m tempted to check my Facebook page. I upend it and don’t let myself get up until the sands of time have run out.

5. No e-mail! E-mail is truly our modern curse. It interrupts our attention span, fragments our concentration. Sign off. Do not let yourself check your e-mail or go online. Use an hourglass or a kitchen timer (if the ticking doesn’t drive you crazy) for 30 minutes or an hour, during which you may not do anything but write. In order to write you really need to get into the zone, and to get into the zone you need to be distraction-free. I love e-mail — but it’s the enemy!

6. Set interim goals. A full-length novel can be anywhere from 75,000 to 150,000 words, or even longer. If you think about having to write 75,000 words – 200 pages – you’ll freak yourself out. But if you write 1,000 words a day, you can finish the first draft of a novel in less than three months, even if you take some weekend days off.

7. Work toward a deadline. Everyone needs deadlines. Parkinson’s Law says that work expands to fill the time allotted; among my author friends, I know only one who regularly turns in manuscripts before they’re due (she was probably like that in school, too). The rest of us need deadlines. My publisher sets mine, but even before you’re published, you will find that your own life gives you natural deadlines: finish that draft before you leave for your next vacation, before you turn 40, before your next high school reunion.

8. Reward yourself. In The Fine Art of Feedback, I write about the challenges of getting and processing feedback – but while you’re writing, it’s not unusual for your brain to second-guess everything you’re doing. Override this by promising yourself rewards for getting work done. “When I hit 5,000 words, I’m going to the movies,” or even, “When I finish this paragraph, I can have another cup of coffee.” It worked in kindergarten and it works for me now.

Go to it, and good luck. Next time someone hears you’re writing a novel and tells you that they have a great idea for one, you can just smile and nod and think to yourself, Yeah, but I’m actually writing one . . .”

For more excellent information on writing from Joseph Finder, click HERE.

[found on]