Back It Up!

That’s right. I am anal when it comes to backing up my work. Anal to the point of being a worrisome wort on an overzealous pig.

Now why would I describe this portion of myself like this? Well, it is because I once didn’t back up my work and lost it. Yep, lost it – all. In the first six months of working as a writer and starting to branch off into editing I switched on my computer to have my heart ripped out of my chest.

There was nothing there. For some reason my computer did a wipe of all my drives and reset itself back to the factory settings. Which was a complete surprise to me since I didn’t even know that could be done. Here I was with an empty computer and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Once I confirmed the work I had on my laptop was gone, I screamed and shouted and thought about throwing the damn thing out of our apartment window then running it over with our car. I lost all my original writing, all my write ups of possible stories and several I had begun to craft.

Now anyone who has lost a piece of creative content will tell you that when you try to rewrite it, it never comes out like it did before. You can rewrite it of course but it will be different than the first one. The one you liked. The one you planned on turning into a novel or story. Often it will disappoint you.

Then again, it also can become your best piece of work. However, why do this to yourself? I back up everything I do nightly and at the end of the week. I have original copies of every piece of work I have collaborated on, created, edited, etc.

Well, that’s not true. I have worked with some writers and authors who, in the end, weren’t a fit for The Pyratheart Press. To these people I returned all their original content. However, I kept the content I helped create or the edited work I had a part of.

In our contract we stipulate that if we come to a point we feel we must part then everything I worked on stays with us. They get back their original work and cannot use the parts I helped with or edited. Unless of course I get credit and get paid for my part.

It’s harsh but necessary. Many will use your work as their own and I don’t allow that. Nor do I take that which is not mine. Which is a reminder to ensure you get everything in writing.

Get a contract when you work. Get what you want in writing. Have a lawyer check it out for you. Make changes to it if you feel it is needed. Never ever let someone else’s policy keep you from what is rightfully yours.

Let me stress this point once again. Get it in writing. Get if reviewed by a good intellectual rights lawyer. Make the changes you want and put it into the contract and never, ever not read it. If they send you a contract longer than an epic novel, read it well. Go through it with a fine-tooth comb.

In the end, if it doesn’t feel right, then it isn’t. Remember, writing is a business and like all businesses they are there to make money for themselves.

And yes, The Pyrateheart Press is a business, and we too are out there looking to make a profit. The difference between us and the rest is we are straight up about it. I have no need to bulls#%t someone to get them to work with us. In fact, I take a lengthy process to ensure whomever we work with is indeed a good fit.

Which is why I keep everything now in case of lawyers and lawsuits. I keep paper copies of almost everything and put absolutely everything on a zip drive. This includes emails and all correspondence.

If you don’t back up your business electronically or make paper copies, then you will find yourself without a business – period. Back it up!

I’m Ross, the Editor-in-Chief at The Pyrateheart Press and I’m out.

P.S. Make both hard copies and zip drives if you truly don’t want to worry about losing your stuff.

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