“If Plan A isn’t working, I have Plan B, Plan C, and even Plan D.” Serena Williams

In every aspect of my life I try to make a plan B.  And then a plan B for the plan B.  It doesn’t always work and I certainly don’t always account for the variables, but I work hard not to be left with no other option.

I can hear you saying, “But Lily, what does this have to do with writing?”  Fear not, dear friends!  I do have a writing related point.

Back-up your writing!

Now before I share my multi-layered back-up system (that I lovingly refer to as The Back-up Trifle), let me just share my story of horror that precipitated this post.  I was making some minor additions and changes to my current WIP when I stepped away and my computer updated and rebooted.  Without me present.  Without my changes saved.

Much hyperventilation ensued and, thankfully, with the reboot my beloved and darling Word (yes, I realize the cool kids don’t write in Word, alas I am hopelessly uncool) had auto saved my document and my sanity.  This, people, is one of the many reasons I am true to my school… er, um, I mean Word.

Once I recovered from that near meltdown thanks to my rock stars Tia and Marit (learn their names, they will be frequent fliers here) talking me off the ledge and a couple pieces of good chocolate, I thought I should share my less-than-ideal-but-good-enough-to-allow-me-to-sleep-at-night back-up plan.

Primarily I have everything I’ve written or partially written and each version of aforementioned works in two separate locations on my laptop AND on an external drive linked to the network.

Second I have a thumb drive (which is primarily used to  transport between home and work if I’m being honest) that serves as a secondary back-up.  I think this is a common system for backing up so you haven’t entered into Lily’s crazy… yet.

The next layer in The Back-up Trifle for one who is so very panicky and anxious about losing a single word as I (ya know, the words I constantly berate and criticize) would be my emails.  If an email contains my words, it’s automatically protected.  And thank you Gmail for giving us so much storage.

Finally, and this is incredibly archaic but much loved, I print a hard copy!  Yes, all blankety blank thousand words of any COMPLETED manuscript is printed, triple hole punched and stuck in a binder.  Because binders complete me.  Binders make me whole.  I shall introduce you to my beloveds one day.

How do YOU back-up?  Do you use Google Drive, the Cloud, or another online storage site?  I may steal your idea to add to The Back-up Trifle because you can never have too many layers!

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