Shining a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls. Also providing advice for writers and industry news and commentary. Writer Beware is sponsored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc.

August 25, 2014

Computer Down

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

Today I thought I'd be writing a blog post and catching up on Writer Beware correspondence. However, that is not to be.

On Friday, my desktop computer (on which I keep most of my Writer Beware files) was working fine. Turned it on this morning...and it won't start. So it's off to the computer repair shop.

I do have Internet access via my laptop, so if you've written to me in the past week and I haven't responded (I am, as always, several days behind on correspondence), please contact me again, either via my website (if you want to reach me at my personal email address) or at beware [at] (for Writer Beware).

Thanks, and hopefully I'll be fully operational soon.


Raquel Byrnes said...

Oh the computer trolls have gotten you. :( Its my worst nightmare. Hope the techno gurus can help.

Anonymous said...

Just as a Public Service Announcement here: Regular backups are critical to the continued prosperity of most bloggers and writers. Losing a few days to not being able to blog is one thing. Losing all copies of a 100k word draft of your book could be a tragedy. It would be even worse if you have a contract with a deadline. Or are independently published and use your writing income to keep the lights on.

Oh yes, running your updates regularly as well as keeping an up to date anti-virus are also critical.

-Knave, a tech.

Angela Adams said...

Whenever I hear of a dilemma such as yours, I start to miss my old electric typewriter...

Victoria Strauss said...

Technology is great, except when it isn't.

I have to defend myself a little--I do back up regularly, and I also use cloud storage, so even with my desktop down, I have access to my personal docs. It's the Writer Beware material that's the problem. Most of it is confidential, and I don't feel comfortable trusting it to the cloud or to gmail (maybe I'm too paranoid?), so it resides on my desktop (which does have up-to-date antivirus protection). It's also backed up to an external hard drive--but I can't access that on my ancient laptop, which I use pretty much only for writing.

I think I need to re-think all of this. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I did not in any way intend to suggest you had not been careful. I am sorry if I have caused any offense.

The reason for my comment was that not all writers are as apt with computers. As many writers come here for warnings and advice, it seemed a good place and post to remind people of the value of a backup. (Or better yet, multiple backups)

I hope you get the computer issue sorted out. There are a lot of people who have benefitted from the wisdom you share.

-Knave (who doesn’t want to use his Google account for security reasons, too)

Victoria Strauss said...

Absolutely no offense taken, Knave. And you're absolutely right about writers and computers. My ex-friend, a prolific author, barely even knew what "backup" meant, and anytime I mentioned it to her, her eyes went glassy.

I guess I feel a little dumb for knowing that having WB files in just one place was risky, and doing nothing about it.

Anonymous said...

I understand the feeling. As is said, to err is which case I'm more human than most.

But it would probably make for a good blog post to remind all the writers out there to look into backing up their things. Or even having contingency plans in case of equipment failure.


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