image of external harddrive plugged into MacBook
Image credit to AJ Garcia on Unsplash.

My tip for the day applies to editing, but it is also relevant throughout all stages of the writing process. It is one of the most important tips I could think of to give you, since I have seen authors come undone countless times by not remembering to follow it.

What am I talking about?

Backing up your work in multiple places.

I hear stories about authors losing work all too often because they haven’t backed it up frequently enough. Sometimes they get lucky and only lose a small section of writing, at other times they lose entire manuscripts. Despite the obvious stress, frustration, and extra work this causes, it also has a knock-on effect with other plans. For example, I’ve experienced authors needing to rearrange editing start dates or push back releases because they’ve had technological malfunctions and lost work.

Therefore, my advice to you is to develop a habit of clicking ‘save’ or using the Ctrl + S shortcut regularly. Don’t rely on AutoSave all of the time.

You should also back up your work in multiple locations every time you finish making changes to it for the day. There are numerous places you can do this nowadays. Here are just a few:
– Save it on your main device (laptop, phone, desktop, tablet).
– Use an external hard drive or a USB stick.
– Email it to yourself.
– Save it to a cloud server like OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox. Although you can pay for these services, most offer free plans too. For example, OneDrive gives you 5GB free, Google Drive gives you 15GB free, and Dropbox gives you 2GB free.

Personally, I like having my work saved in three locations. First, I save all of my work on my main device. Second, I back it up to a cloud server because I like the benefit of being able to access my files in any location and on any device. Finally, I use an external hard drive so I have an extra back up.

Some of you might be thinking this is overkill. However, technology can go wrong, and probably will at the most inconvenient moment. Laptops and computers can break or malfunction, emails and cloud servers can go down, and external devices can get lost or broken. Spending the extra couple of minutes backing up your work in multiple locations can save you hours or days of stress and worry about whether you can recover documents if the worst does happen.

You don’t have to use all of the methods I’ve noted here. I’d suggest trying out a variety to see what systems work best for you. Nevertheless, no matter what methods you choose, the important thing to remember is to put in the effort to create a habit.

So, if you haven’t backed up your work recently, what are you waiting for? If you already do, take this as a friendly reminder and hit save one extra time. It never hurts to double check everything to give yourself peace of mind.

Mia is a freelance editor at Aim Editing with over ten years of experience in publishing, an eye for detail, and a passion for helping authors improve their craft. She has worked with traditionally and independently published authors, international bestsellers, award winners, and first-time authors. Her main goal is to work alongside authors to develop their vision and voice so their manuscripts can shine and present the best version of themselves.

Find her online:


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