Flying back home from my retreat, I’m carrying a black shoulder bag with my laptop and book manuscript. Thinking of that bag sitting in the plane compartment above my head, I realize if something happens to it, much of the upcoming book would be lost. I have an old version of the poetry folder stored in Dropbox but only some of the poems are there. None of the edits have been backed up and certainly not the order of the book I spent an entire evening working out.
I feel like I’m carrying something precious with me. I’ve been entrusted with this book and it’s up to me to not only get it home safely, but to back it up when I get there. I need to make sure it can’t be completely lost if there is a fire or theft. I need to make sure this work is saved somewhere so no one but me can get to it.
Take a moment and ask yourself: are you backing up your writing? Are you saving it somewhere besides your computer? If something happened to your laptop, what else would you lose? After two years of working on this book, this is a sobering thought for me. When I get home, I will be saving my files to Dropbox so everything is saved in the cloud. You can also bet after my next meeting with my editors, that I’ll be reprinting all the poems and putting them in their order so I have two copies of it until I lay out the book in Indesign. Until then, I’ll be keeping close tabs on that printed manuscript above my head.
Back up and back up often!
(This is the twelvth article in a series by Stories To Tell editor/designer Sarah Hoggatt recounting her experiences in publishing her poetry and nonfiction.)