Advice to writers everywhere
Technology is a wonderful thing… when it works.
But sometimes technology fails us. Hardware breaks, software crashes, power goes out, a cable comes loose… the caprices of technology and vagaries of life are infinite, virtually or otherwise.
However, there is one vital action that safeguards our work against all but extreme acts of nature.
When writing or editing on the computer, save your work frequently. Most PC programs use CTRL S to save. Train your fingers to use this or whatever save command is available in your application. Train your fingers to automatically press the save command key sequence after every major edit, or every time you go to a new column or page or reach for your coffee. DO NOT DEPEND ON THE AUTO-SAVE FEATURE to do your saving for you. Restoring a document off an auto-save version can be messy and incomplete.
There is nothing quite as frustrating as to be on a roll with writing or editing, where all the right words are suddenly falling into place, the language is flowing and all is right with the universe, then—bamm!—something breaks, and that 30 minutes of sheer genius you just experienced has gone to bit heaven. And that’s the kind of moment when these things usually happen.
So save frequently. Save every time you move from one application to another. Save every time you get up from your chair. Save when you sneeze. Save when the phone rings. But save AT LEAST every 15 minutes and you are unlikely to ever lose a large part of your work.