I almost lost my computer and all the writing that I have stored on it.
I’m working off a seven year old Macbook Pro. For the most part, I think this computer has been pretty amazing. The planned obsolescence hasn’t hit me up until the crash and, for the most part, the pro has met everyone of my needs regarding daily use. Considering I bought the thing because a professor told me that writers need to have a Macbook (true story), it has help up well over a near decade of punishment and constant use.
But obsolescence is on the horizon. It hit me hard last weekend when I thought that I’d lost my machine.
If there are any Mac user out there, you may know about Big Sur. It’s the most recent OS update and I think it might be one of the last OS update that my machine may be able to handle.
Anyway, after avoiding prompts for a OS update for over a month, I decided it would be good to download the software and it sent my computer into a death-spin. I needed to erase it and start over. I lost everything on the device and ended up with a wiped Mac.
The only saving grace from the whole experience is that I decided to backup all of my writing on iCloud about a month ago. We’re talking a novella, 20+ short stories, tons of website articles, and more. If I had not decided to backup, it would be gone.
So, consider this post a call to action. Back. Up. Your. Shit. Even my reliable daily-driving computer went down. Yours could too. Don’t wait. Back up your shit now. Return to this post after.
The Mac is back. I’m writing on it now, but I’m starting to realize that our time together is limited. It’s sad. I’m not a big tech guy. I’m sure there are people out there that think a Macbook is a waste. You can get better processing power for less money. But this computer worked for a long time. I pound on these keys every day. I’ve dropped it, spilled on it, and lost it. Regardless, it kept going.
I think it’s weird to be sentimental about a piece of tech. It’s a tool. But it’s probably one of my most important tools. Writing in the modern world isn’t a pen and paper game anymore. Sure, you can fill notebooks. But if you want to publish (and I do) you need to be able to present you work in digital format. A word processor is a necessity. Outside of that, writing is a pretty cheap hoppy. I don’t need pricey software or fancy hardware. I need a keyboard, a monitor, and a word processor. Simple. Easy.
For nearly a decade, this machine has been that for me. It’s dealt with my anger, frustration, creative surges and downturns, it sent out the story that marked my first acceptance, and I’ve come to feel reassured when my fingers push the keys and the words form on the digital page.
But I’m coming to the realization that I’ll have to move on soon. Not easy. But necessary.
So, I would say two things. First, backup your shit. I mean it. You can’t get it back if you lose it and recovering from that tragedy is going to be harder than taking the time to drop a copy of your work into iCloud or Google drive.
Second, don’t take your tools for granted. When they work and they last, the things we use to facilitate our creativity are, sometimes, as important as the creativity itself.