Hello from under the willow tree-in hiding,
As a newly self-published author I have found I am overly protective of my work. I have been writing for years and have a file folder full of short stories and memoir pieces I have written over the years. A year ago when I began my first novel, I became overly protective. Since then I have written a novel during NaNoWriMo and played around with a sequal to the first novel when editing began to drive me slightly insane.
Self-publishing my first three children's stories and a book of memoirs, I decided the novel was number one on my bucket list and I had to write it. It was then I first realized I am overly protective of my WIP. I never e-mailed copies of other works to myself nor did I back them up on a flash drive. They were in my file folder on my computer and I wasn't worried. I am so glad I have become overly protective.
Monday morning my computer went haywire and refused to let me on-line saying I had a Trojan-lovely!! Two and a half hours later the virus was gone and I was back to surfing the web. This morning it was back. This time in order to save my lap top, I had to let the tech person wipe out everything on my computer and reload the original settings. Everything is gone. Thankfully, my computer manufacturer offers a service of backing up data on a weekly basis.
At the present time I am looking at a very empty start up screen and writing on a notepad rather then a Word document because it disappeared with all the rest of my documents and files. Currently, the back-up system is transferring my data into a file which I can access when it is done-the program said five and one half hours to tranfer. I still don't know if everything is going to come back. I know my children's books and memoirs are safe in e-books on Barnes and Noble and my three current WIPs are on flash drives and in e-mails, but I never considered all the other document files we make for one reason or another. Plus I have many older writings I saved. I hope they come back, too.
My advice is back up everything. Set up a special e-mail account and e-mail every document you have to that account. Anything you don't want to lose also put on a flash drive or two. I have learned a lesson here. Before the tech person told me this morning that I could most likely recover all my data, I was ready to purchase a second lap top just for writing and if I needed to e-mail the document I would transfer it from one to the other with a flash drive. That still might happen if all of my writings don't return.
I hope this was helpful to you. It helped me to vent it all as I wrote. I know I will e-mail a copy of my WIP every time I close out of it and save it to a flash drive. That way I'll always have the current piece with whatever editing I have done. I'm not sure what others do to ensure they don't lose their work, but this is my answer for now. Happy writing and I hope a virus never attacks your system. The sad part is, I have no idea where it came from. I am extra careful what I do, but the tech said it can be embedded in an e-mail from a friend who may have copied it and sent it to you unknowingly. I also don't know why my firewall didn't stop it. One more question.
Until next time happy writing and Merry Christmas everyone,