I’ve been keeping records of my daily word count for the last couple of years. I use them to watch how I’ve grown, push myself to write more each day, and try to see what slows me down. I keep track of how much I write on which projects, which also chronocolizes when I started each project, and when I finished them. It’s very useful data, and I’ve shown my charts here on my blog a few times.
Then last night I went to add my numbers for the day and looked down. For some reason it was saying march, not September. What? That’s not right.
I checked a few other pages. Blank. Blank. Blank. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!?!?
Wait, I just copied this file to DropBox, it’s okay, right? Open that one, and it’s the same. Blank months. No data.
Sinking heart as I realize what happened. I didn’t copy the file TO DropBox. I copied the file FROM DropBox. The old file, the one I hadn’t updated since March. The one that didn’t have anything filled out. Copied it right over the newer version with all the updates. And now it’s just gone.
Six months of data. Gone.
It wasn’t an entire lose. I did have one small backup. A spreadsheet for the Million Words club with daily totals. But the daily totals are just numbers. They don’t tell me what I wrote that day, how much I wrote on each project, what I started that day, and what I finished. So, at best it’s an incomplete vision.
Now, I can go back through my blog and pull out those numbers so that I can at least get a view of what I actually wrote for publishing sake, and what I wrote to share in my blog. But other then that… I’m stuck.
Just goes to show that yes, you should backup your files. You should have them in several locations all of the time. And you should also make darn sure that when you copy something from one place to another you aren’t saving the old version over the new one.
What if I’d done this to my novel? 91,000 words GONE. It makes me cringe just thinking about it, more so because my first novel actually did die in a tragic computer crash, and that novel was over 100k.
Back up your stuff people. Make sure it’s safe!