Chef Holley’s Recipe for Writerly Disaster

Okay. That headline is a little dramatic, but seeing as how I nearly had a blubbering meltdown over the weekend, it seemed appropriate.

external drive image

One of my writer friends, Anya Breton, e-nagged me about the importance of BTSU (Backing that Shit Up) for basically eons before I got into a routine of actually hooking my external drive into my laptop at the end of every work day. And I do it without fail every night so I can sleep well.

Maybe I’m still slightly Luddite, but I just can’t trust cloud storage. I need A THING that I can see and yell at, and so far, that system of pre-bed backup has worked out pretty well for me. It saved my biscuits last year when I had to send my laptop off to have the something-or-other replaced.

Well. Right after that, my computer fell out of warranty—which is usually the universe’s way of telling me to squirrel some pennies away to buy a new one—and my power button said, “Hey, you’ll be fine without me, right?” It decided it didn’t want to work anymore. So, basically, up until this weekend I hadn’t turned my computer off in months because the chances of me getting it back on were slim to none (unless I wanted to resort to a risky hot-wiring maneuver I saw on the Internet that involved opening up my computer and pressing the end of a staple in between a couple of metal bits).

On Friday night, I took my laptop to bed with me to do some admin or something, and had a sudden revelation that, “Oops. Uploaded the wrong file to Amazon! Better fix that first thing in the morning.”

The next morning, I rolled over, grabbed my laptop, fixed my file, got distracted by Chopped or something on Food Network, and then my computer lost its charge while I was trying to talk myself into getting up to go pee.

Picture an hour of me repeatedly pressing the power button, plugging in and unplugging, shaking my fist, swearing, and panicking.

You see, I didn’t back up my computer before taking it to bed. It wasn’t the computer itself I was worried about, but the hours and hours of unsaved work on it from Friday.



The cloud’s not sounding so bad all of a sudden, right?

As of the time of me typing this post, I don’t have my computer. I took it into the fruit-named store on Saturday and HipsterHelper said problem was probably one thing. HipsterTech called on Monday and said, “Nah, IDK. We’ll have to send it out and let you know or whatever.”

HipsterTech was basically unmoved by my “HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WORK?!” ranting and raving. “Yes, we all depend on our computers a lot,” she said.

If I hadn’t been talking to her on expensive fruit-named phone I had to pay out of pocket to replace the screen on last year, I might have thrown it.

I suppose my new lesson isn’t to just BTSU, but, also, BTSU to multiple places and also having a way to access all your important software in case you have to temporarily work on other machines. Of course you’re on deadline, right? Of course.

Hopefully when [if] I get my computer back, the new stuff I’m writing blind right now will match up with the stuff I wrote last week. If not…

*cue nervous laughter*


2 thoughts on “Chef Holley’s Recipe for Writerly Disaster

  1. As the saying goes: there’s two kinds of people- those who back up and those who wish they did. Years ago I was backing up my music collection to an external drive, gave all the cds away, and then the drive crapped out. I’ll have to send it off to a data recovery service to get it all back. Now I back everything to disc as well as an external drive. And no, I don’t trust the Cloud at all.


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