How to NEVER Lose Your Manuscript Again
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Nothing is more frustrating that losing your hard work to computer errors! In this episode of the Writing Momentum podcast, Chris and Gena show you how you can backup your documents AUTOMATICALLY in triplicate. If you’ve ever lost your work, we feel your pain! Listen to this episode to discover how easy it is to save EVERYTHING.
- pCloud https://www.writing.fyi/pcloud
- Seagate Backup Drives https://amzn.to/415VIdi
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EPISODE 65 TRANSCRIPTION
EP 65: How to Never Lose Your Manuscript Again === [00:00:00] Christopher: Hello and welcome to the Writing Momentum Podcast. I'm Christopher Maselli, and I'm here with my wife, Gena. How you doing today, Gena? [00:00:14] Gena: I'm doing good. Although I gotta tell you, I think that the topic we're talking about today is one that is, close to my heart because we are talking about how to never lose your manuscript again. [[00:00:29] Christopher: Yes. [[00:00:29] Gena: And I think both of us have had experiences, with this, where it is a painful topic. [00:00:36] Christopher: It's painful because how many times [00:00:38] Gena: It's painful, y'all. [00:00:39] Christopher: I don't think I've ever talked to a writer who hasn't lost a portion of a manuscript or their entire manuscript, whether it didn't save or it got corrupted, or they just can't find it on their drive. I was just talking to a friend of mine the other day who had been looking for a manuscript for three years and just happened to, find it in a they realized they had emailed it to someone. Years ago, and they found it in their Gmail archive. [[00:01:07] Gena: Oh my gosh. [00:01:07] Christopher: Attached to a document. They were so happy to have found it, but they thought it was completely gone. Because their backup driver, something failed. And so that's what we're gonna talk about today, is how to make sure you don't lose anything. Because you can have backups in triplicate. And I do, I have my computer backing up in, in triplicate when I'm working. And we'll talk about how we do that. I come from the day when I remember when I used to work on documents, we this was back in the nineties and I was employed by a business that often had power outages. And so we had these power things hooked to our computer, but even then we'd lose stuff. And so I got in the habit of every time I finished writing a paragraph I'd hit command S, which is Save on a Mac or Control S, which is save on a PC. And I just got in the habit of every time I wrote a paragraph, I'd sit back and look at it and hit Command S or control S. And I got in this habit of doing it. I still today, I hit save all the time, even though I don't need to. I still do it today, but computers have become more advanced and they save themselves a lot now, don't they? [00:02:12] Gena: Well, we're so thankful for that because I have been I have definitely lost material. I've definitely lost. We have lost some. Just on a personal note, if you will remember, our first child? [[00:02:26] Christopher: Yes. Oh, this is horrible. [00:02:28] Gena: Her, instead of doing a physical baby book for her, we did a website. We used a website. It was not Facebook. And because we were wanting to be safe, right? We didn't want all her information out there. And, that website, which we then discovered was hosted in China, I believe. We didn't know that at the time. I don't think we really realized that. Or it had been sold or something. But they just took it down. Yeah, they took, we lost her entire first year. It's still, I used to have physical reactions to that when we would talk about that. I don't do that anymore. I don't. It's still pretty painful. And then I have had a situation where I had my whole computer became corrupted. [[00:03:10] Christopher: Yeah. She has lost everything. [00:03:11] Gena: I've lost everything. Yeah. And I also lost a lot of personal journal type stuff. So I am very interested in learning about how to never lose that, because even if you've just been working for an hour on a document to then lose that hour, it just feels like such a loss because you're, it's a creative work, right? We're there putting our heart and soul into it. We're working on it, we're moving things around, we're editing things, and then all of a sudden that work is gone. Yeah. And you have to try to, recreate or think back to, okay, what did I do? How did I word that? Where did I move that? Ugh. It's such a frustrating thing. [00:03:51] Christopher: It's totally frustrating. [[00:03:52] Gena: All for, hearing how to never lose your manuscript again. [00:03:57] Christopher: Okay, so here's what you're gonna do. First of all, when you're working on a mac you want to turn on iCloud. iCloud is an automatic backup of your documents folder, and it can back up your documents just automatically to the cloud. Now, it is not fail safe. I have found issues with iCloud and so it is just my first line of defense, right? This is just a way to make sure that if I'm writing on a mac I'm getting my things backed up. If you're writing on a pc, you want to turn on one cloud. This comes with Microsoft Office. I'm assuming you're using Microsoft Word for writing. If you do, it comes with OneDrive. You want to turn that on. It also, I have found is not perfect and sometimes doesn't catch everything, but iCloud and OneDrive like that first line of defense. If you're on a Mac, I don't recommend using both iCloud and OneDrive. I've had conflicts with that, so I just use iCloud since it's native to Mac. If I'm on a pc, I use OneDrive. It's native to that, but that's first line of defense. [00:04:58] Gena: And I love that you put it like that. That it's the first line of defense because you're gonna show us multiple lines of defense and you wanna make sure that you have multiple ones in place because nothing is foolproof. And so you don't just want one. [00:05:14] Christopher: And the only reason why I wouldn't make these, my only backup at least online, is because they're not perfect. Neither one is. Now, there are two other solutions out there that I find to be much better and close to perfect as far as backing up what you're working on. And it would, and they will back up your local folders. So the first one of those is Google Drive and you can get an app for your Mac or pc that's a Google Drive app that will automatically copy whatever is in your documents folder. Onto Google Drive. And it'll back it up onto Google Drive. Now the downside to that is, is that Google Drive only has so much space in it, right? And you're letting Google see everything. And some people don't like it for privacy concerns. So if you don't like Google Drive, My favorite solution that I use instead of Google Drive is a backup solution called P Cloud, P c l o u d P Cloud, and it's, I think it stands for Personal Cloud. What it does is the same thing. It backs up everything from a local folder, like your documents folder onto their servers in real time, both Google Drive and P Cloud have really great reliability and more than that, they it carry capture what we call revisions. So for instance, if I'm working on a document in the morning and I save it five times, right? Cuz I change things as I'm going, I open it and close it and whatever things change over time, I can open up that document in pCloud and I can see every save point and I can restore any one of those, which is really great. So that means if you, even if it's, it is not a matter of losing something, but you just write over something that you're doing, you can restore it back to where you want it, which is really a terrific feature. P Cloud is a one time cost. They have a lifetime deal. It depends on how much space you get, so you wanna look it up yourself. Go to writing dot fyi slash p Cloud and you can see the options that they have. Google Drive charges you monthly. And so that's why I kinda like just the one time cost deal. And again, it depends on how much space you get, but definitely make sure you got the first line of defense, which is iCloud or OneDrive, and then a second line of defense, which is P Cloud or Google Drive. [00:07:41] Gena: And you're saying the iCloud and OneDrive, those actually come with your subscription, right? [00:07:46] Christopher: That's right. [00:07:47] Gena: So there's no additional cost for this, right? [[00:07:49] Christopher: There, there can be additional cost if you want to get a lot of extra space, but for most people, the free tier of both iCloud and OneDrive is more than enough for your documents. [00:07:59] Gena: Okay. So we're going from there, then we go to the P cloud or the Google Drive. [00:08:04] Christopher: That's right. [00:08:05] Gena: And you said those are you've got a link down below for people who want to sign up for those. [00:08:10] Christopher: Either one of those. Yeah. Or you can just look 'em up. So in goes those two, so those are web backup, right? [[00:08:14] Gena: Those are web back backups. [00:08:15] Christopher: You're putting it out there in the cloud. Which is great because that means if you have a local failure, they're backed up in the cloud. But what if you're concerned about the other way around? What if you're concerned about something on the cloud goes wonky or doesn't work? That's where you want to have a local. So for your local backup, I recommend using Time Machine on a Mac. Time machine comes built in with your Mac and if you can buy these little external drives and if you plug that into your Mac, it will automatically back up all your documents onto that external drive. And I do that about once a month. That's not a real time thing, right? It doesn't happen in real time with every file save you do, but it happens if you keep, if you leave it plugged into your computer, it'll happen several times a day. I don't really like doing that cause I pick up my laptop and leave with it all the time. So just about once a month I will make sure that's plugged in and my computer backs up onto that locally. So now I have iCloud backing it up. I've got P Cloud backing it up with all the revisions and then I've got time machine backing it up. Now I don't know that there's a similar free program that works like that on a pc. If you know that there is, go ahead and you can leave a comment below and let others know. There are some other solutions like Back Blaze in that, that I think will do that sort of thing, but those are paid for products. So I don't really know what you use on a pc, but on, on a Mac you use Time Machine and it's free. [00:09:41] Gena: For the time machine for the external drive. Can we provide a link below for people to find that so they know exactly what they're looking for? [00:09:49] Christopher: Yeah, there's these drives, they're little Seagate drives and I can't remember what they're called, but they're little tiny drives. They're about the size of your hand and they just plug right into the side of your computer and it'll back up to them. Real, real nice and easy. They're great cuz you can drop 'em in your backpack, take 'em wherever you go. They're also great just for transporting files if you need to do that. But they are, they're great little drives. So we can provide the link for that. [[00:10:12] Gena: And does it need any extra cords or anything? Does anybody need to think about... [[00:10:15] Christopher: No, it comes with everything you need. [[00:10:15] Gena: It comes with everything you need? [[00:10:17] Christopher: Yep. [[00:10:17] Gena: Okay. Yep, that sounds perfect. [00:10:19] Christopher: And then finally, I recommend that you save your documents anytime you just have some big change to them. Okay. So let's say you're working on a novel, right? And you get the first draft done. At that point, duplicate the file and save it with a new title. That way you've still got that old backup. So if your new version where you're starting to make changes in the second draft corrupts, you've still got the original draft there. Okay, so now we're, we basically got four ways that we're saving a file now, right?. Through iCloud, through P cloud, through time machine, and through a manual iteration. And if you do that, you're, I think you're probably not gonna lose much of anything. [00:11:06] Gena: Now with that manual iteration, I think it's important that just to point this out, that you wanna make sure that you label it or title it in a way that makes sense to you. So maybe you do a, the title of your novel 1 then 2, 3, 4, or a, B, C, D, or by date if you wanna do it. If it's, January, 2023, maybe it's oh 1, 2, 3, and then your next one is oh 3, 2 3, and your next one go on some way that makes sense for you so that you understand what it is that you've got there. [00:11:42] Christopher: I actually like putting the dates in the file name because while you can sort by revision date or last save date or that sort of thing, the problem with that is it'll change when you open the document, right? Now, the creation date won't, but everything else will. So it's nice to, if you're saving a full iteration, what I do is I save by year and then by date, so mine might say 2023 dash oh 4 0 1. First draft, name of the project, whatever it is. That way when you sort, it'll bring it up by year first, then by date, then by what draft it is. And that's a real nice way to do it. It keeps everything very clean. Remember, document files are not very big. Even a book file is not very big. So it is totally okay if you have 10 versions of that file. And it's not once you finish the book, if you want to, you can go back and delete some of those that are inconsequential. But it's also cool just to have that because, I had a book that I worked on several years ago that I wrote it. I sent it out to some other people to edit. They sent in their edits. I made all the changes in my file and then saved it. And then after some time passed, I thought, I don't think I agreed with some of those edits. But I hadn't saved an iteration of it, so I had no way of getting back to my original manuscript, the ones I originally had made, and I so wish I had. And so I've learned from that. These are all learning things. And and so that's why today I still hit command S every time I finish a paragraph, but I also make sure that I've backed up to iCloud or OneDrive. I've backed up to P Cloud or Google Drive. I've backed up to time machine once a month and I've done those manual iterations. The great thing about that is that other than that local time machine backup, all of these are automatic. They're set it and forget it. You don't have to think about doing it unless you specifically want to. And that's a way to make sure you never lose your manuscript again. [00:13:44] Gena: Definitely. I just wanna add one small little side note when you're titling your documents Chris mentioned using a dash in there. I would avoid using slash or periods or anything like that. I would keep it very simple. I don't even use a lot of dashes in mine just because I get, or hyphens I get I'm prefer it to be all letters and numbers, but I would just, be careful when you're using any of those extra characters. [00:14:13] Christopher: Most computers today can now identify those special characters and work around them, but it's still good not to use them because if you ever save things to an outside server, they may not be able to use those special characters, so it's best just to not use them. Hey, if you enjoyed this episode, if you're excited that you're never gonna lose a manuscript again, will you go ahead and rate, review, subscribe and share this with someone that you know that loves writing, that wants to learn more about writing. Your reviews mean so much to us. And they help others find the podcast. And of course, hit subscribe if you wanna make sure that you never miss another episode again. [00:14:50] Gena: And I would even add to that if you guys have a question or you have a topic that you'd like us to cover go to writing momentum.com and let us know. We wanna hear from you. [[00:15:00] Christopher: Absolutely. Thank you for joining us, and until next time... [[00:15:03] Gena: Together we have writing momentum. [00:15:05] Christopher: That's right. Don't forget it. Bye-Bye.
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