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A friend of mine's computer just broke, and she lost all her writing--all her world building and planning, entire novels... which spurred this how-to chapter.

So in case you haven't already: BACK UP ALL YOUR WRITING FILES. This is so, so, so important! Computers can crash without warning. Laptops can drop onto the ground and break! Or you might spill your drink on it.

Keep up-to-date backups of everything, otherwise you'll be crying. I know you're lazy, but you cannot afford to be lazy with this.

There are so many places for you to store all your files. I would highly encourage you keep them on an online file storage site like Google Docs or Dropbox. I think iCloud is one for Mac users.

Don't rely on only flashdrives or external harddrives. Just like with your computers/laptops, they can stop working without warning. If you store everything online, you can access them from anywhere at any time. Personally, I have my stories on a flashdrive and an online file storage site, so there's a double back-up incase one fails for some reason.

Also, remember to keep your backups up to date! At least every few weeks or so, reupload all your files onto wherever you're storing them, so you have the newest versions there. BUT DON'T DELETE THE OLD VERSIONS EITHER. So many times I've deleted a scene, and months later I want it back, but it's gone. Sometimes I can find an old draft hiding on my Google Docs, and then I rejoice. What I like to do is on the main Google Docs page, I keep only the newest version of all my files, and I send all the old drafts and notes to the trash. The great thing about the trash bin is that the files sit there until you delete them from the trash (so you need to delete a file twice before it's gone forever). You can still restore them later if you need them.

Go back up all your files right now! Preferably in multiple places, at least one of which is an online file storage site!

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