Flash Blog… Data! Come Back to Me…Puh-lease!

Flash Blog… Data! Come Back to Me…Puh-lease!

Watching. Waiting. Will he make it happen? Will he make it so? Now? Maybe now… maybe n—…may—…  sighs. No. No luck again.

I am sitting across from a PC tech professional who is here to attempt to help me salvage the first five years of my freelance writing career. And I am quickly losing faith. I waited too long, I think to myself. I probably damaged my hard drive and it is unable to be saved, I doom myself to failure. First, a transfer attempting to use Windows 8. Then Windows 7. Then the original laptop’s operating system, Vista. Still, nothing. Now he tries our final hope. Microsoft XP. Will none of these get me to my data?


We wait.


And wait.


And wait for a connection.


Time passes. Files stubbornly refuse to show themselves and provide an encryption nightmare. And then…in a split second, I detect a change in demeanor. It might be. It could be. It is! Victory!


Today I caught up with some old friends. All of my files from the very first day I picked up my laptop less than a month after being let go from my media job 6 springs ago. That was such a scary time. How the hell did I think I could go out on my own and be a freelance writer full-time? Who did I think I was?


But you know what? I did. For at least five years. And then, sure, as some of my contacts who hired me for assignments moved on by choice or not, I saw the opportunity to add more regularly scheduled part-time work into the mix to allow me to begin writing more for me. And that has been a tremendously wise decision.


And for all of those years, I invested countless hours of time typing instead of sleeping and beads of perspiration (which explains the blurred ink on the keys) and tears as I poured out emotions into words I maybe never intended to share but knew had to be purged from my heart. Some made it into poetry, essays and a novel. Others lay hidden away, for my eyes only. But once my little laptop decided to stop delivering, I no longer had access to these thoughts either. Everything I had done, if not emailed to someone else or in print somewhere was just gone…poof. Like that. And as so many of us do, I didn’t take the precautions and backup these files valuable only to me.


How foolish we are! We wouldn’t dream of leaving our house exposed, doors and windows open, for anyone to just come and loot. So why do we leave ourselves so vulnerable by not putting in place proper backup procedures or some kind of plan to save our work elsewhere? I know I’m not the only fool out there.


Well, I feel a lot differently about that old laptop right now. I was feeling like it cheated me. Gave me this wonderful place to pour myself into and then simply died one day. But today, a new friend helped get back all that I lost — and I couldn’t be more grateful. (Thank you to the folks at Fix My Computer Onsite in Tampa, Fla. You rock! Appreciate you coming to my rescue. Big hugs!)


Please let my almost total disaster be your own warning. What’s your backup plan? For your data? Come on, right now… lay it all out there. Are you as unprepared as I was? Then do something about it. Please. Don’t let those beautiful thoughts and photos and expressions you might have tucked away on your own computer vanish into thin air. You’ve poured too much of yourself into them to let that happen.


Celebrate with me as we take smart steps to prevent that from ever happening at all or again for some of us unlucky ones. Do it! Now! Pronto!  ~ Chris

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