Back Up Your Work: A Cautionary Tale

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Writers like to use different programs to get their work down. Microsoft Word being the most common. I personally switch between Word and Google Docs, but I own Scrivener.

I use Scrivener for the planning stages of a book, the notes, the outline, little character cards, etc. It’s a lot better than my wall looking like a conspiracy theorist’s ravings or an FBI Crime syndicate organization chart, complete with pictures.

The reason I use Google Docs for my drafts, is that writers often get in a zone where all we see is the words in front of us and the world we’re creating. Time and silly things like saving and/or backing up our work has no meaning in this world. However, we’re often surprised when a laptop’s battery drains of all life, or the computer randomly restarts for updates, or we set aside what we’re doing to answer the door, and then we have lost hours of work.

I once lost an entire chapter during NaNoWriMo. I may have cried. My spouse, a director of software reliability, so gently asked, “Did you seriously not back it up? I tell you to save your work all the time.” He may have in his coding days as an engineer, have lamented with me, knowing that beautiful trance that is “The Zone”. But, he’s responsible for a lot of stuff working reliably now, so not saving is an unforgivable faux pas. (Okay. I might be being a little dramatic. He felt bad enough for me to dig out my lost chapter from some recess of my computer’s memory.)

If you’re like me, find a program that automatically saves and save yourself the misery of the lost chapter blues.

Published by TJ Deschamps

Tammy loves to build worlds with words, exploring themes the effect of diaspora on the generations born elsewhere than their ancestors with the backdrop of tech or magic and dragons (sometimes both). These stories are inspired by her own family's immigrant experience. She's queer and many of her characters fall somewhere on the LGBTQIA spectrum (though that is not the focus of her work). She's married to an engineer who dances. Together they are raising three precocious teens in the Seattle suburbs. Two of her children are neurodiverse. Her experiences have taught her much about the world, its beauties and its injustices. All of this comes through in her fiction with a healthy dose of absurd humor.

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