I know the title of this post sounds like a lyric from an obscene rap song, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about how important it is to back up your computer files regularly (I was about to type “religiously,” although that word would be appropriate, too). I think it’s good to have both hard copies and electronic copies of your files; if your computer goes kaput or you lose your flash drive, then you’ll at least have the hard copy — or if by some chance, your hard copy gets eaten by your dog or gets destroyed by termites, then you’ll have the electronic file.
I back up my files once a week (although, I recommend that you do it more often than that). I have quite a few flash drives, and I also keep hard copies of every draft of my stories. It’s a lot of paper, and it’s a lot messier than all those neat little electronic folders, but it’s a huge help when there come times that I leave my flash drive at work or when my computer decides not to behave.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of “I don’t feel like backing up today, so I’ll just do it next week,” but then weeks turn into months and you’re stuck with just one copy of everything. Then some electronic disaster strikes and months of work are lost and never to be retrieved. So back it up. Print a copy and keep it somewhere safe from moths, termites, children, dogs, etc. When your computer fails or when you’ve accidentally sent your flash drive through the washing machine for the sixtieth time and it refuses to work, you’ll be glad you did.