When I write, I’m compulsive about saving my work at each lull in my typing and often in between: “alt,” “f,” and “s” at each pause and sometimes even typed midsentence. I don’t want to lose a thing.
There’s a reason for this. Early in my career, and in the early days of PCs, I worked as a tech writer. I lost a week’s worth of work because I grew sloppy with my backups. That experience changed me forever. Now I’m the king of backing up. I save my work often.
Sometimes writing is slow and arduous; the words come with difficulty. If those words were lost, it would merely present an opportunity for a fresh start.
Other times, words gush forth and the results are good.
On rare occasions, I get in the zone. Not only do the words flow fast, but they’re good words, too: cleverly ordered, presenting profound ideas in a compelling manner.
Once my computer locked up when I’d been in the zone and hadn’t saved for several minutes. Dismayed, the thought of losing my eloquent prose was unacceptable.
Hoping for the unlikely, I took a break with the improbable wish that my computer would function when I returned, allowing me to save my precious writing. It didn’t happen.
From desperation springs innovation. I snapped a picture of my computer screen.
Then I rebooted and re-keyed my words.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In my case, it was only a couple hundred, but they were good words and I couldn’t bear to lose them. Thanks to a digital camera, I didn’t have to.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.