Sunday, January 3, 2010

On Knowing Our Followers and Saving Your Manuscript From the Computer Monster

Sometimes I'm a wee bit awestruck that 365 372 376 people follow this Little Blog That Could. We LOVE our followers, but I bet you guys didn't know that I have actually checked out each and every one of your profiles. And if you have a blog, I've hopped on over and read a couple posts and maybe even commented.

Stalkerish? Maybe. But if you put in the effort to read what we post multiple times a week -- and even comment! -- then it's only right that we know who you wonderful people are.

Many of you are writers, which is so so exciting. I love seeing what you're writing, your latest achievements, and what stage of the game you're at. (If you're almost done revising, join our Query Wars! We want more soldiers!) And we have a heck of a lot of readers who are passionate about every genre under the sun. (Book bloggers = fantabulosity personified.)

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that we appreciate you and try our best to write what you'll enjoy. You make all the time and effort we put into writing this blog worthwhile!

AND... during part of a recent round of Follower browsing, I came across an excellent post about saving your manuscript-in-progress from the computer monster that wants to eat up your future million dollar advance and National Book Award!

Without further ado, LINKAGE to aspiring writer Dawn Simon's blog, Plotting and Scheming, with the guest post by her techno-savvy husband Jim, "Fire! Save yourself -- and your manuscript!" It details a few steps you can take to make sure you don't lose your work when your computer tries to rebel.

Bad computer. We no like that.

In the spirit of technology ... what do you do to save your manuscript? And what's the best "the computer ate my homework -- no, seriously, it did" story you have? (We feel your pain.)


  1. OMG now I feel all nervous and stuff. Granted, I do the same thing, but still! *hides dirt under the couch*

    Also: AWESOME Linkage!! Definitely something every writer needs to read! =)

  2. I rarely worry about computer issues because I have a Mac, which not only means I never have to worry about viruses and my platform is insanely reliable, but they have this wonderful program (which comes standard) called Time Machine. It's an auto back-up of any system connected wirelessly to your external Time Capsule (best $200 I've ever spent). So about twice an hour my little time machine icon lights up and backs up all my files to the time capsule--without me having to remember. It's awesome.

    But in case a horrible fire were to wipe out my house and time capsule and laptop all in one go (which would REALLY suck) I do also email copies of my draft to myself and keep them saved in my inbox. It's better to be safe than sorry. :)

  3. I love your blog. I'm glad I found it. I have an award for you over on my blog.

  4. I'm not a writer, but a student, and my computer has majorly backfired on me on pretty awful times. :S

    It's always a pleasure to follow ;)

  5. Thats so sweet I love your blog and all your posts are awesome;)

  6. Thats so sweet I love your blog and all your posts are awesome;)

  7. Great linkage! The reminder is always wonderful :)

    I don't keep my draft on my computer at all. My laptop is old and has blue-screened on me TWICE already. I'm in the process of saving up for a new one. Instead, my drafts reside on two separate external USB drives, and are emailed to myself once a week (gmail is awesome). I feel pretty good about my system.

    The best story I have...I wrote a one-act play in high school for drama class, but my teacher and a bunch of students thought it was wonderful, and encouraged me to submit it to the county one-act competition (which turned into state and nationals, and led to publishing and performance if you won). I had it all ready to go, but my home printer was broken, so I brought it on a hard disc (LOL, remember those?) to the drama green room to print it. I'm not really sure what happened, but I inserted the disc, opened up the file, and tried to print, but then the computer went all funny and shut down. When I booted it back up, it had destroyed the data on the disc, so all my lines looked like this: akljdf!kdj f&$$ I wanted to cry. I couldn't admit to my teacher that I lost the play on the computer, though, so I told her that I entered and she just assumed I didn't win. :( She was really upset because she thought I had a great chance, and I always wonder if I really did, and wish I still had that play.

  8. I LOVE this blog, ladies. Seriously. You girls give good blog. Every single time I stop by you've got an entertaining/informative post up. Here's to 2010 bringing amazing things to the FNC!

  9. Great link! I e-mail my MS (and any new docs with notes/poems/etc) any time I make changes or write something new. I love gmail. There is SO much storage-- so I have ever single version of my drafts out in "space".

    I'll also save everything to an external hard drive (recently purchased when my computer's hardware malfunctioned--so I'll have it when I get my computer back, which is hopefully SOON. My husband's work laptop just doesn't cut it...)

  10. I think my best story happened when my son had a friend over. We were having issues with our laptop's battery, so I was in the process of boxing it up to send it to its repair facility. I turned away from the task of boxing for literallly 10 seconds and the little boy takes a flying leap and lands smack dab in the middle of the laptop.

    When you opened it up again, you could see the outline of his foot in the crushed LED screen. Literally, nothing was retrievable. Thankfully, since we were already having issues, I'd backed almost everything up. However, if I hadn't I would have lost everything on the computer.

  11. I'm trying to figure out how to join your query wars. But no luck. What is that? Sounds like fun.

  12. You ladies have an awesome blog! Thanks so much for linking to my post. :)

  13. Thanks for the lesson, I have a PC and a Mac. I HATE VISTA hehe

  14. Mireyah - Hehe don't worry about it. You seem wonderful! And it was definitely excellent advice - glad you found it helpful.

    Shannon - I have a Mac at work, and I do love it. But sadly, I have a feeling that, now that Macs are becoming more popular, the viruses are soon to follow! Time Capsule sounds great, and I email myself the docs too!

    Amanda - Thanks so much! We're honored!

    Barnsdale - Oh I lost a paper or two in college. It's awful!

    Anya - Thank you!

    Heather - I do the USB/email thing too. So convenient! And ouch - that story stinks! I haven't had anything half that bad happen to me.

    Lisa and Laura - That means a lot coming from you guys -- your blog is one of our all-time favorites! And I have no doubt you'll join us in our domination of 2010!

    Sara - Wow, a lot of us love Gmail backup! Hope you get your laptop back soon!

    DKB - That was a close call! Glad you backed everything up. And the footprint...oh man.

    TerryLynn - So far, it's just our name (actually, Lisa and Laura used it first) for the time when we'll be banded together in solidarity as we go through the agony of querying together! Nothing official, but we'll be posting about our progress in the upcoming months, and we hope you'll comment with your experiences! Best of luck!

    Dawn - No problem! It was an awesome post!

    Cleverly Inked - Glad you found it helpful!

  15. Great post!! I'm majorly paranoid about losing my stuff, so I carry everything around with me on a flash drive, as well as saving to both my work and personal PCs. So hopefully I'm covered! :) And I always have the most up-to-date version of my ms on me at all times, which has come in handy.

  16. We appreciate you, too! In fact, I have a gift for you all on my blog. Keep those great posts coming!

  17. Lizzy - Sounds like you're covered! I always try to keep my latest version saved in email so I can access it anywhere.

    Laurel - Thanks so much!!!

  18. I love the idea of emailing my WIP to myself. I will starting doing that today!
    I was in the office of the Bible Chair at the university I attended when I heard an "Oh, no!" from the library. A couple of us went to see what was going on to find a friend staring at the computer screen. He had a large paper due in less than two hours and it was GONE. He couldn't find it anywhere on the computer. We were feeling generous so we divided his handwritten pages and several of us retyped the whole thing on other computers. He turned it in with minutes to spare.

  19. great blog!

    i have a story - in the olden days (windows 98, floppy discs)microsoft word had a glitch. i had not learned to update my software yet and discovered this glitch when i hit 40,000 words on my first novel and decided to save it to a floppy. when i hit 'save', my manuscript vanished.

    that was the glitch. save to a floppy and the file is erased.

    luckily i had a print-out. so i re-typed the whole manuscript.

    (btw the book still resides in a bottom drawer. my first novel - out this june at last at last - is my fourth! i obviously needed a lot of practice.)

  20. JenE - That's awful! At least he had a handwritten copy. And what nice friends to help him type it!

    Candy - Thanks, and congrats on the debut! Floppy disks ate more than one of my documents, but never 40K words! How long did you cry? hehe. Just goes to show how important it is to have a million backups and a hard copy somewhere...

  21. I am so glad I found this blog. It is both informational and entertaining. And OMG! I hope my computer never eats any of my manuscripts. It ate my 35 page senior thesis paper in undergrad though. I learned after that to autosave.


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