Today I will tell you a story.
Once upon a time, there was a little writer. She was a good writer, and she spent a lot of time on her manuscript. Every day, she went to her computer and wrote, chipping away at the monolithic story-block like a monkey working on a rock with a slightly smaller rock. Every day it got a little bit longer, and a little bit better.
Finally, one day, after many months of toil, she reached a place she had only heard of in tales: the ending of the story. It was a proud moment. She took a second to savour it before neatly typing in the last two words of the manuscript: THE END. And then she closed her computer and went to drink a bottle of good red wine to celebrate. And there was feasting and carousing, and afterwards the writer slept deep.
The following morning, she awoke with a slight hangover and wondered what to do now. It had been so long since her day had not centered around writing the story that she was momentarily at a loss. No matter, she thought to herself. I will take the day off. But first, I will go look upon the work that I have created, so that I can relax with a smug sense of self-satisfaction.
So she went to her computer and turned it on. But something was amiss. Instead of her familiar desktop full of robots and rocket ships, there was only a fuzzy blue screen. For the computer, faithful friend of many days, had taken ill. The writer, panic rising, tried the many tricks she had learned over the course of her writing to cure the computer, but to no avail. The sickness, probably contracted while visiting some of the less reputable corners of the Internet, was swift, and soon the computer died.
And the writer stared at the blank screen in horror, for she now realized that the computer was not all that had died. She had been so busy focusing on the writing that she had forgotten to back up her manuscript. And now, with the computer’s death throes, her story was lost forever.
Great was her despair, and soon it changed to anger. The writer rose from her desk, but she was a writer no more. Now she was vengeance itself. With an army of technology-hating mutated lint balls, she stalks the land, unplugging computers and smashing monitors at will. The world trembles at her terrible passage, for it means the time of the Frozen Screen of Death is upon us.
And all this could have been avoided had the former writer simply backed up her work.
I don’t usually write didactic stories, but I’ll make an exception just this once. Back your shit up, people. More than once. And in more than one place. Preferably some kind of external hard drive/flash drive/whatever along with some kind of cloud/database/wilds of the Internet storage. And maybe a printed copy tucked in your bottom drawer. Don’t let a random computer glitch take it all down. Because it can.
And then God help us all.