Two Rules of Writing

Posted By on July 27, 2011

1. Take notes.

A brilliant idea strikes just before I’m falling asleep. I mean really brilliant. Possibly great American novel brilliant. (Taste the bitterness of sarcasm?) At least it felt like brilliance. How can I know for sure? I didn’t write it down. I didn’t just open a new file and jot a few notes.

Bad mistake.

2. Back up.

My laptop is behaving oddly. I travel quite a bit. I carry the thing to the coffee shop. I may have dropped it once. Or twice.

I’ve never used online backup. For the first three years we lived here, we had lousy Internet access that meant uploading or downloading any data was expensive and provided absolute proof that time does indeed slow to a crawl. I have countless jump drives. The black one, the blue one, the one that pulses with my favorite shade of electric blue technical equipment flash.

Sometimes, I forget to use any one of them. Now that we have actual Internet access, I mail the file to myself if I’ve forgotten to back up for a few days. I tell myself having the file in different places is wise planning–not laziness. Sometimes I forget to do any sort of backup.

Worse mistake.

The good news? Humans can learn, and I am human. Therefore, I can learn.


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