How Do You Save Your Work?

This is a picture of my jump drive that I snapped while moving my laptop.


On it, I transported poetry files back and forth between work and home.

*big sigh*

The good news is that I used this as my backup so I should be able to recreate the files that I lost. But I still have this sick feeling that I may have lost a thing or two that can't be replaced.

This unfortunate incident got me wondering how and what other writers save. I tend to use a jump drive and my computer's hard drive as my primary storage for my work, saving a final copy and maybe the previous version in case I need to refer to something. I also like to have hard copy around, especially when it comes to my poetry manuscript. I save copies on poems both good and bad ( you never know when you can resurrect a stanza from the dead), resumes, writing samples, and the occasional blog post.

So how do you save your work? Are you a pack rat who saves copies, or can you keep your electronic files in good working order? Do you save blog posts? Do you save all of your journals? (I do.)

How do you know what to keep and what to let go?


I am going to come back and see what people say on this one...I just got my laptop for X-mas and (gasp) thus far haven't backed up anything. (Only two documents in there of yet though). To admit it, January...prior to the 25th I hand-wrote absolutely everything (except for blog posts). So, I always had a hard copy/draft before it ever met a computer. I am starting to change over for my fiction writing...but some things, like poetry and essay/fragments I don't know if I'll ever shift. Great question. Now, you've got me thinking...
jim said…
I use to save hard copies of everything. But I tend to work for years on poems and if I saved all the drafts (sometimes just a line break change or single word) my home would be lfooded with paper (it already is in fact) -- I am less cautious now then I should be. I occassionally save a copy to CD -- my computer is ancient (same one for about 10 years now) so I'm really taking a risk not backing things up. I do use the site. For a slight monthly fee, you can pretty much have unlimited storage space. But who knows if the site might someday drop out of sight. When I deleted my last blog, I saved all the poetry in a word document. It was over 300 pages long.
Anonymous said…
Oh yikes, January. I'm in the habit of always having a hard copy of a recent draft. When I'm done editing, I print. I also use one of those little busted pieces of plastic and computer parts that you have here--although mine is currently in one piece. Since I'm working on a manuscript right now, I also email the whole thing to myself and it stays on my email account. A word file actually doesn't take up that much space.
January said…
Susie, I do have a copy of my manuscript on e-mail--that is a great way to store information. Good luck with the manuscript.
January said…
Delia, definitely have backups of your work, especially with anything of lengt.

I was the same way, handwriting everything. But I don't consider a poem finished until it's typed.

Jim, 300 poems? That's incredible!
Kristine said…
This makes me think of that Sex in the City episode where Carrie's laptop died... Everyone kept looking at her with regret in their eyes and saying , 'Awhh didn't you back up?"
I am not as good at backing up my files as I should be. I do email things to myself quite often and I keep hard copies of really big papers of importance. I have all of my blog posts saved on Word...

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