Monday, July 20, 2015

Tips on how to avoid losing your work

Apologies if I haven't been posting much as of late, but currently I've been focusing my creative energies into other tasks at hand.  Hopefully I'll get another post up before the end of the month, but for now I wanted to touch on something I've sadly seen happen all too often among many creative types.

Perhaps you're writing a blog or message board post.  You spent over an hour applying the write touches and editing, setting up images and URL links.  Your mouse hovers over the "post" button, and WHAM!  Your Internet connection dies, causing all your work to be lost to the electronic abyss.  Maybe the message board hosting your material goes under, making your work similarly inaccessible.

Or maybe your hard drive breaks, causing all your work spent in InDesign to go to waste because you didn't save copies elsewhere.

When writing a post which requires a significant investment on your part, be it homebrew material, research notes, or even a political screed, have Microsoft Word or notepad open.  Copy-paste the work as you type it, so that when you're done and about to hit the "post" button you can have your hard work ready to go in case your Internet or website shorts out on you.

Secondly, when it comes to saved files, rely upon cloud storage spaces.  Save copies of your work to Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox, etc, in addition to your hard drive: Word, InDesign, JPEG, whatever it is, upload them.  Make new copies after every saved revision, so that each place has the most current work.  Google Drive is particularly good to write on as it automatically saves your work every few seconds.

Ever since I've been doing these steps, I saved tens of hours worth of work and leisure time from the terrible fate of "Could Not Connect to the Internet" or sudden power outages due to seasonal thunderstorms.  I implore writers and game designers to take this advice to heart and not just rely upon the goodwill of a functioning connection to save them.