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Don’t forget to BACK UP!

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | Carry on Writing

Hazel Gaynor

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Montparnasse train crash

I don’t think there can be many people who didn’t hear about the awful nightmare that happened to author, Kate Kerrigan, earlier this week. Kate left her laptop in a Dublin taxi. The laptop had her entire new novel on it – and she didn’t have it backed up.


After a huge social media drive to track down the ‘quite handsome’ cabbie Kate remembered chatting to from Heuston station, and after the involvement of heaps of other writers such as Marian Keyes and Cecelia Ahern, not to mention several radio stations and newspapers, the cab driver, and Kate’s laptop, were found.


A very happy Kate Kerrigan!
A very happy Kate Kerrigan!

You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief across the land, such was everyone’s anguish on Kate’s behalf.

Thankfully, this story had a happy ending. It hardly bears thinking about what the alternative would have been, And of course the moral of the story is BACK UP!

Losing our work must be every writers worst nightmare and Kate’s #lostnovel hell prompted me (and I suspect I’m not alone) to think about my own back up processes. After talking to lots of other writers, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the techniques they use. The general consensus seems to be to apply the Rule of Three. Don’t just back up in one place – back up in three places – some combination of the following:

1) Use an external hard drive

2) Back up to a memory stick

3) Email the WIP to yourself after each writing/editing session

4) Email to your Kindle

5) Save to some form of online Cloud such as Microsoft One Drive or iCloud for Apple or Carbonite oMozy

6) Dropbox

7) Print it out!

This link may also be helpful http://www.thetop10bestonlinebackup.com/

It often takes a disaster, or a near miss, to make us stop and think. I, for one, am going to learn from Kate and am getting my back up system organised asap.

Thank you to Jenni Barrett, Jennifer Burke, Brenda Drumm, Carmel Harrington, Lorna Sixsmith, Daisy Cummins, Margaret Scott Darcy, Niamh Boyce, Clodagh Murphy and Louise Phillips for sharing their back up processes with me.


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