Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid: Save Your Work by J.Q. Rose

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog!

Focused on Story Blog
J.Q. Rose
Hey, I think that's the first time I actually said welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. Thanks to those who visited my newly re-named, re-designed blog last Wednesday. Thank you for your kind words about the changes.

While patting myself on the back for accomplishing the change in the look of the blog, I was so caught up in my brilliance that I misstepped and fell from my very high perch above the clouds. And did I ever fall far! I did something so "stoopid" (stupid). I am embarrassed to tell you. But I will share with you in the hope you will learn the lesson along with me. My piano teacher always told me it's okay to make a mistake, (like hitting the wrong key on the piano), but it's really a mistake to do the same thing over and over again. I hope I have learned my lesson and not repeat this stupidity again.

<Taking a deep breath.> 
This summer I focused on getting my story ready for my publisher, BWL Publishing, for release this winter. Needless to say I have spent countless hours on the novel, and it is almost complete.

I worked hard on it last Wednesday and saved it to my laptop, feeling very good about how the loose ends are tying up in the ending. On Thursday morning, I opened my laptop only to find I could not sign in to the old computer. I put my computer password in three times. Shut it down. Tried again. Shut it down. Tried again. I couldn't believe the crazy thing wouldn't open. I remembered I had received several notices for an update and I had postponed them for the last couple of days, but Wednesday night, I decided to let it go ahead and do the update.

Evidently something got messed up in the opening user program. No, I didn't know that, but that's what my great computer geek guy, Luke, figured out. He told me sometimes this problem is a symptom of a hard drive crash.  I gasped for breath knowing I hadn't backed up all the files for months. I hadn't backed up a story I had worked on all summer? Well, not completely. I had a few chapters in dropbox and on a flash drive, but they had all been revised in the recent months.

I left the laptop at his shop. My mind whirled with the possibilities of losing the entire ms. Losing all the files for my published books and scribblings of other books and stories. Then the reality of losing all my photos hit me. I never back them up. Heat flashes took over my brain and it wasn't because it was 90 degrees outside. Worry. Worry that I would lose everything. I honestly thought my writing days were over. I couldn't sleep that night.

Later the next morning Gardener Ted stopped at Luke's shop to check on the computer. He came bursting in the back door and announced Luke thinks he can get the files back! I shouted hooray and did a happy dance right there in the middle of the kitchen at that news. Sure enough, the next day, when I picked up the computer, Luke told me he had all the files on it. 

I dreaded asking how much I owed him. He said, "$35." What? Only $35.? I could have given him a big hug and a kiss. (No, I didn't. I didn't want to embarrass him.) I practically skipped out of his shop with my darling laptop.

You can be sure we dug out our external storage drive and backed up ALL of our files on both laptops.

I think I'm doing well when I remember to hit save while working on a document. I guess I trust my laptop too much by not backing up the document to another system. 

Flash drive or thumb drive

It's so easy to pop in a flash drive (thumb drive), save it to dropbox, email it to myself. So many ways to keep a copy. So do it!!! Learn from my carelessness. Save your stuff!
* * * *

A couple of weeks ago, my fifteen year old grandson, Ethan, began writing a story and shared the beginning of it with me. He uses Google docs, so
My grandson, Ethan, and me.
he gave me a crash course on Google docs. I love Google docs because the document is automatically saved as you compose it.  I don't even have to remember to do it. Plus Google saves it to Google drive, so it's not on my laptop, but safe somewhere in cyber space. 

Ethan also showed me how to edit a doc, much like Tracker, making comments on the document. It's pretty simple to learn and I'm so glad I have a sharp grandson to guide me if I have questions. Thank you, Ethan.

Click here if you want to get started using Google Docs. 

Publishers, as of this writing anyway, like manuscripts submitted in Word documents. Here's a YouTube video to explain how to convert a Google doc to Word.

YouTube VIDEO: How to Convert a Google Doc to a Word Docx by Faculty Workshop

If you get nothing else out of this blog article, please get this
Save Your Work!
SAVE A COPY OF YOUR WORK in another location.
Have you ever had this same experience? How did it turn out? 
I hope you didn't lose all of your files. 

Let us know in the comment section below. Thank you.
* * * *
Author Chrys Fey
I want to give a shout out to my friend and author, Chrys Fey. We met through the Insecure Writers Support Group, a wonderful support group who holds a blog hop the first Wednesday of each month. Look for our blog posts next week!
Chrys has a complete video series entitled Marketing Sparks. She shares inspiring information on writing, publishing and marketing in these short videos. Some of her topics are newsletters, branding, author websites, amazon, Goodreads and more. Well I wrote her an email with kind of a crazy question for her and she answered it in a video. Very special. Thanks Chrys. Take a peek at her answer here.

VIDEO: Email Reading (And What is the Reflection in the Glass?) Chrys Fey

Chrys Fey Marketing Spark Video


Tess Grant said...

Wow! Terrifying. So glad you could get it all back. And I love the fall leaves.

Helena Fairfax said...

That's so great you could get all your work back, JQ. I could feel all your relief and the stress of the sleepless night! I back my work up to a separate hard drive, but not as often as I should. I know that sense of panic so well when the laptop doesn't boot up as quickly as it should. I'll back up regularly from now on. Thanks for the reminder!

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Tess, glad you like the leaves. Don't think they're going to be this colorful this fall due to heat and drought.

J.Q. Rose said...

Helena, I'm glad you have a way to save your work. And yes, it only takes a moment to do it. It's just one small extra step that gives big results. Thank you for stopping in.

Chrys Fey said...

I've had many nightmares and headaches over losing stories from computer glitches, viruses, and me just being lazy. I'm glad you got all the files back. Do you use Drop Box? It's free and easy. You can save documents/files to it. It downloads to your computer, but it's also a website, so you have multiple ways to access your files.

Thanks for your shout out. It made me smile. :)

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Chrys, I too have those nightmares, but this is reality and that's even scarier!! I do have Dropbox and NOW I am going to actually use it!

Marsha said...

Hey, JQ. What a relief! Wow! I've had something like that happen, but it's happened with flash drives that die. So I use Carbonite. Small price for peace of mind. So happy for you. Excited about your new book. I've shared. :)

Susan Bernhardt said...

Gosh, J.Q. I was thinking how horrible. I would be devastated. I am SO GLAD that you got your work back. Hooray!!!! Thank goodness!!!

Enjoy your time in Florida. Hello to GT. :)

J.Q. Rose said...

Marsha, I've never heard of a flash drive dying. Sheesh...more to think about.Thank you for sharing!

J.Q. Rose said...

Susan, yes, I did a happy dance when I discovered my guy saved the info on the hard drive, and now with your comment, I'm doing another dance.

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