I learned the hard way over 20 years ago on a computer with no hard drive.
10:00 at night, finalizing an exam, I nearly cried when the power went off. Now I save and re-save and USB and email myself to back up all my projects. I lecture my students about backing up everything because weird things happen. I lectured one kid who stayed after school until 6:00 to finish his ginormous multi-class essay. He dismissed my advice with a wave of his hand. The power went out at 5:55. I think he knocked a couple chairs over. So I back up all projects. Always. OCD style. Every time.
But before they are projects, they are just little embryonic idealets punched into Notes on my phone. When I get an idea while at the deli counter…. Thumb, thumb, thumb, thumb, thumb, thumb. And I’ve got it to fit into something that I haven’t even thought of yet.
And during my daughter’s swim or ballet lesson, I might piece a couple of the ideas together or maybe outline a progression of these ideas.
And life is good.
Until I open Notes this morning and watch the screen blink once. Then my 12 pages of notes became 5 pages of notes. Minutes later, I scrape my jaw off the floor. This never happened when I used a spiral notebook.
I head for my nearest tech expert, my 15-year-old son.
“Yeah, that happens to me sometimes. You should back it up to your Cloud.”
File under: “Things I Needed to Know before I Lost 7 Potential Novels.” But OK. I’m wiser, right? Grumble grumble. **kicks desk.**
So, gentle readers, back it up. All of it. Often.
Or get a spiral notebook.