The Importance Of Auto-Save

Posted by on May 3, 2011 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

Last night I became inspired to tell you this, even though I’m sure none of you are as oblivious as me and you don’t have to worry about this.

We all know to save periodically while we’re writing. We all know to back-up the project we work on. I do both of these things, very regularly. I usually save after each chapter, and I back up my projects every time I’m finished working on it.

Last night however, I was all finished up for the night and I closed out of MS Word. The “Do you want to save changes before exiting” message came up and for some reason unbeknownst to me, I clicked “no.” GAH! Foiled again!

So after panicking because I’d just lost 3000 words – not everything I’d written last night, but a good chunk – I turned to google. I searched for half-an-hour without any luck of finding a way to recover the file. Everyone said it was lost forever. At one final attempt I explored all the files and folders associated with Word and temp. documents. No luck. I reopened Word to start rewriting everything. I had some great pages and wanted to get them back down while the ideas were still fresh in my mind. To my surprise, under the File menu there was a copy of my previous file. I had the option of clicking the last file I’d opened in word and declined to save.

Thank the gods.

So my writing was saved and a valuable lesson learned. “Periodic saving is not enough. Backing up is not enough. Auto-save is literally, a savior. I’ve set it up to auto save every few minutes and let’s hope this never happens again.

‘Nough said.


  1. Your post made me re-live every near heart attack I've ever had. Lol! After the last loss I'm so paranoid I save after every sentence or so. And then I back it up on a USB.

  2. At least I'm not alone! I'm pretty sure my heart didn't beat for half an hour. okay that's not true, but it tightened up my chest that's for damn sure.

    When it happened to you did you lose your work entirely?

  3. I lost a partial draft, but it was still pretty devastating! My laptop was nailed with a bad virus and I lost just about everything that wasn't backed up somewhere else. I just happened to be working on a piece when it happened. Ahhhh!

    Even still, I consider myself lucky – it could have been so much worse. To this day I chant “Don't forget to save” and “USB” when I'm typing! Google docs doesn't hurt, either. 😉

  4. I can relate to that. I finished about the 4th edit I personally did on my first book. I was just getting ready to send it to an editor when my laptop crashed. I was about to die when I remembered I had it backed up somewhere so I didn't loose 18 months of work. Now I use everything. Computer memory, computer back-ups, Google Docs, External Hard Drives, I've got it covered LOL.

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