Archive for May, 2012

Disaster Strikes

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1, 2012 by C. J. Edwards

I am a little embarrassed to write this post. It seems that I have fallen prey to the phrase, “That will never happen to me.” You would think that after years of living in the computer age and being told over and over again to back up all your files on a regular basis, I would have caught on before something horrible happened, especially as I am a writer who has a substantial amount of material built up over the last two years. Well, it’s time for the world, and my own hubris, to tell me I told you so.

Three weeks ago I stopped off at the computer lab at the University where I attend classes. There was an assignment due, and I printed off what I needed off of my thumb drive and then dashed to class. Halfway through I realized I needed to print something else and while on break I went back down to the lab. When I fired up the aforementioned thumb dirve, I had one of those moments of panic when a little window popped up and told me that the drive needed to be formatted and did I want to do this. NO! I knew better than to do that.

I immediately called a friend who has some expertise in collecting deleted files from electronic devices that maybe their owners never wanted to be found. He had me bring the flash drive in the next day and one of his coworkers used some very advanced programs to see what he could see. As it turns out, all my data was still there. Yay! Unfortunately it was all so scrambled that it would be impossible to recover. Boo! This was quickly followed by Boo Hoo and, “Oh God WHY?”

Panic was quickly followed by depression. There was a lot on that thumb drive. Stories, two incomplete novels, a novella, and dozens of school essays that I need for a final portfolio to graduate were all gone.

Over the next few days I started the process of tracking down what I had that WAS backed up. Most of my short stories I keep a hard copy of in a binder, and I had recently emailed a couple of them for submissions, so I was ok there. My novella had been emailed several times to people for editing suggestions, so that was safe. The fantasy novel I have been writing for my daughter was backed up on the cloud, thank God I did that, and most things I have a hard copy of somewhere. What hit me the hardest was my school essays. I was completely wiped out. Now there were a couple still on my laptop and there are definitely hard copies buried somewhere in my stuff, I am a bit of a pack rat with things I’ve written, but it will be a long labor intensive road to recovery.

So what have I learned? First of all, I am supposed to “eject” the thumb drive before I pluck it out of the computer you are using, and to back up back up back up back up my files! The next day I signed up for a free Dropbox account, which is more user friendly that the Google Cloud account I already had. Dropbox looks just like another file on your computer’s desk top and can be accessed from any of your devices.

So fellow writers, I beg you please back up your material! Don’t be like me and lose years of work in a split second. If anyone is interested in Dropbox I am including a link that will provide you with extra free space if you sign up by clicking on it. Sign up today and keep that bestseller safe!

Now that I have mostly recovered mentally, I am back to writing and updating this blog.

Good luck all, and happy writing.

Dropbox Referrals: