Saturday, January 23, 2010

About Writing a Backup Article

Saturday, January 23

I am a proud member of NOLA STARs (North Louisiana StoryTellers and Authors of Romance). We meet the second Saturday of the month except in March and December at the Bossier Central Library History Center, 2206 Beckett Street, Bossier City, LA. In December, we have a Christmas party. In March we have a conference.

Each year for the last five or six years, those attending the conference (Visit here for information on Written in the Stars 2010) are invited to submit copies of what is called a tip sheet. On one side, one can put tips or ideas that could help others writers. The person submitting the idea chooses the subject of his/her tips or ideas. On the backside, one can advertise his/her latest set of books that have come out. Or tell those who get the booklet who you are and what you are working on.

This is a great opportunity to get one’s name out and get free publicity. The tip sheets are gathered and made into a booklet. At the conference, all attendees get a copy of this booklet. As for my tip sheet, I usually write an article of some type. The thing is that I have less than a month to write the piece.

Yesterday, I began collecting ideas about the article I wanted to write. I already selected a subject for my article: Data Backups. This will be a rehashing of an older article which I used several years ago. With new technologies and services, I felt that now was the time for an updated article on the subject.

Several events had help spur me on with this project. A couple of days ago, someone sent an email to one of the email loops I belong to mentioning that they lost a good chunk of their work that day. The computer began acting up and the keyboard and mouse locked up. Then someone else suggested something about turning on the auto-save feature in the word processor. Both emails gave me one idea that I can use for my article.

Thoughts about those online backup services came to mind as well. It is hard not to remember them when their advertisement pops up on television every time I turn the boob tube on.

In all, I wrote down a half dozen ideas some of which I have not covered before. I began to wonder if I needed to cover anything else.

This is when disaster hit. For some reason, I needed to leave my computer for about 30 minutes. When I do this, I usually put it into sleep mode. For some reason, I wanted to minimize the word processing screen. But I kept hitting the ‘X’ in the corner for closing instead of the ‘-‘ for minimizing. The first too times I did this I hit “cancel” to stop the process. Yet, I hit the ‘X’ a third time and thought to myself, “No, I do not want to close this program.” So, instead of hitting ‘cancel’ one more time, I hit ‘no.’

As I retyped all of the ideas that I could remember, I added one more to it. This idea is very important to carry out as well. Yet, I tend to forget it from time to time.

“If one needs to get up from his/her computer for any reason, make sure one saves all documents before leaving the computer.”

In this day and age of being able to open multiple documents, one needs to make sure they save them all. Also, a good idea may be that one should save the file before leaving it to work on another. Most word processors allow the use of “Ctrl S” to save the document.

So, don’t get caught leaving your work unattended and unsaved. One might find that the cat laying across your keyboard has rewritten part of it and accidentally erased other parts. (Then again, one can’t be sure that it was an accident. They are crafty critters. The other day, I found my browser opened to a site that sells catnip. That’ll be a subject for a different post.)


  1. LOL "Clark" gotta watch those Kitties. Thanks for the promptings. I get lazy about saving and backing up because I use online back-up bu tthanks to your sage advice I took the time to make several CD's of all my material today. Better safe than sorry!
    See ya in the sprinting room ...

    Rachel Lynne
    Escape the Ordinary ...

  2. Glad it helped. I get a reminder every few months when I accidentally delete what I had written. It drives me nuts because I seldomly recover what I previously written.

    I do agree, it is better safe and sorry.

    Clark Stone

  3. Hi Clark,
    My cats practically wrote their own story for the piece I have in "A Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers." Good post and thanks for the reminders.