Reviewing the strategies for organizing your writing life… Once you’ve taken time to get clear, read and researched, plotted out your time line and communicated it, created a personal action plan, prioritized your day, and organized your work, then…
#6. Backup Everything
When you’re using a computer to capture your information, it’s really important to make sure you back up all of your writing. Purchase an external hard drive (or two, sometimes they fail) — and maybe try an online storage system (there are lots of choices). Cloud storage is easier and more accessible these days, and not that expensive. I am deliberately stressing the importance of organizing your writing, and how easy it is to forget to back up your files. You can end up a “disorganized mess” — as a friend of mine says — if you aren’t careful about backing up your writing.
One time I was at the Apple store having my computer checked over for a problem, and one of the Geniuses asked me if I’d backed everything up. I remarked enthusiastically, “Of course I have!” He looked at me and said I’d be surprised how many people don’t back up their work on a regular basis.
I have also recently had the experience of getting sloppy and not backing up my work. My MacBook got a virus, and I tried to back it up before taking it to the Apple store, and I couldn’t. The virus wouldn’t let me, and I lost some work. I learned from my mistake.
If you’re using information that’s on hard copy (paper), make sure you keep the original, or at least make sure you have a copy of all hard copy documents that relate to your writing project. That way if you’re working with another person, or with a group of people, and someone loses something, gets sick and doesn’t show up again, or doesn’t follow through with their part, you’re covered.
Henry Ford’s attitude was, “Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain.”