Sunday, January 30, 2011

Backup Paranoia

Last night, I talked with my nerd-husband about writing and about the writing process I wrote about in my last post that I derived from my work as a software developer.  He agreed that it was really difficult for him as an engineering student to go to writing class and get no real education on processes for writing.  Technology-type people put processes on everything, which really simplifies a very complicated thing.

In writing class, we are often told to just write a lot and it will come to you like magic.  The more you write, the better your writing will be.  No one would ever tell that to an engineering student or a programmer.  Technology people are taught best practices, techniques, and even the life-cycle-development process.  After all, whatever you develop as an engineer is nothing if you don't know how to test and implement it in a logical way.  Processes are developed so that every person doesn't have to waste time figuring it out on their own. 
My husband and I agreed completely that artists and writers need to let our creative sides be free to create but need processes and discipline to be productive and to allow us to deliver a finished product, whether that's a collection of poems, a novel, or paintings, whatever.  A blend of the two really are needed. 

It's funny that no matter how bad a day we have together, our mutual nerdness keeps us together.  A good discussion before bed about things like this bring us to neutral ground. 

Eventually we went up to bed.  I was very happy that I had accomplished so much and have a firm plan for completing two novels by July 1.  Then I looked at my desk at the far end of my room and had a Holy Crap moment.  My laptop was on my desk.  The backup of my writing through last December was in the drawer next to my desk.  The printed copy of both books and all of my 40-some poems were stacked neatly on my desk to the right of my laptop.  If there were a fire, it would all be gone.  I would have to start over.  I love both stories as is and can't imagine trying to re-create them from scratch.

I imagined a fire and knew for sure I would save the kids, leave the laptop, and be depressed for life, crying to my kids for years to come. 

So I got out of bed, created a second backup and stashed it in our fire safe.  I am surprised at how careless I was (no backup whatsoever of what I've written in January, which is plenty) with something so important to me.

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