Ah, backing up your novel. So important, but so underdone.
Why is it that so few people will actually back it up? Since when has a little reinforcement hurt anything?
At this point in November, if you have not already, we are getting ready to validate our novels and get out beautiful Winner! signs. It is sooooo very close now, and yet still people refuse to back up their novel. And why? Let me cover the reasons I have heard, why they are terrible reasons, and how to remedy them.
1. I do not have anything with which to back it up on. Untrue. You may not have a thumb drive (a.k.a. flash drive, USB, memory stick, etc.) that you can use or are willing to use, but which is worse-- someone reading over the first couple pages of your manuscript (after which they will most likely toss it aside, because, really? First drafts are kind of dull.), or losing said manuscript because you were too afraid to use the stupid thumb drive. Just. Use. It.
2. I have no other means of saving it. Untrue. There are so many ways that you can save your manuscript, finished or otherwise. Personally, I email myself mine either everyday, or every time I write something I really like, or every time I cross a milestone, whichever comes first (and all the others, too.). I find this is easy, effective, and efficient. I can now go to any computer with Internet access and retrieve my novel to work on. So, if my laptop were to get fried, I would not shed big tears (okay, maybe I would. But not big, Big, BIG tears) over it, for, lo, and behold! My novel is safe and sound and ready to be finished.
3. I don't need to back it up, my computer (which I named Ol' Trusty) will not fail me. Out of every excuse I have heard, this by far is the worst. I hope that it is not you, and if it is, come on, it's a computer. They are some of the most fickle devices of all time, and just as soon as you start believing yours will never crash, then guess what? CRASH. And what have you got? Many tears to shed and words to re-write.
So, how can you back up your novel easily and efficiently? Get a, empty thumb drive, if you do not already have one, and put your novel on it, adding the date (and current word count, if you can) to it. How often? Everyday. Every Hour. How ever often you want, but at least once a day. If you cannot do that, email it to yourself. If you have no email, make one. If you can't do that because of parents or some other passable excuse, use your NaNo mail and send it to yourself there. If not there, suck it up and use your parents email. You have to do it, back it up. And save it to your computer, too, very often. Do you want to lose your entire day's work, or, even worse, your entire months work? I didn't think so.
Back. It. Up.
And, as always, Happy Writing!