We all post, read and write a thousand things over the course of our working life in regards to writing that ‘book’. One thing that I never see discussed much is how to keep your working documents (aka manuscripts) safe from disaster. Being that most of us are dependent on electronic devices for producing/editing/storing our works in progress. I thought it was worthy of a conversation.
I come from a network security background, and I still work actively in the field, where I spend hours a day teaching other people how to keep their data safe and secure.
For the average writing joe, there are a variety of options available. From using using a zip drive to USB stick right up to storing your manuscripts in the cloud.
Personally I’m a fan all those mentioned above. They have their own peculiar pros and cons.
External hard drive :
Pros : easy to use. Allows you to maintain a redundant copy of all your work.
Cons : you need to carry it around with you, making your portable life a bit less portable.
Pros: Same as the above.
Cons: They are small, I tend to ‘misplace’ them occasionally, ok.. well a lot. So this option is never a great one for me.
There are a ton of cloud based document services around these days, and I prefer these. They are portable in that I can access them from any pc, anywhere anytime. They are usually quite secure, and many are free to use. They do have memory limits but they are quite generous, and a few books in the works isn’t going to make a huge dent.
Regardless of which you choose, depending on keeping your work only on your own computer is a dangerous option. Back it up, store it somewhere on a daily basis. You never know when your computer is going to go sideways on you.
A great list of cloud-based document storage options can be found on cometdocs blog here: