Friday, May 25, 2012

The Power of the Printout

Last night I was talking to my sister about the novel she'd written over 20 years ago. She was sad about the fact she had no hard copies of it, and the only possible digital file was on a 3 1/2" disk that isn't formatted for any modern computer.

Today, I was looking for something else in my writing files and found an old printout of her story. Nearly in tears of joy, I called her and told her I had a surprise. She was astonished, and grateful, that someone still had a copy. The price for the gift, I told her, is to re-write the story and try to get it published. I'm a mean sister that way!

But this brings me to my point: technology is a wonderful thing, but hard copy printouts are still a necessary part of keeping record of your writing. Personally, I don't see the point in keeping EVERY draft (although I know some writers don't throw anything away) but keeping at least the last two or three gives you an idea of where you came from and where you left off if by some tragedy you lose your digital copies.

Now, I need to practice what I preach and take some of the old dot-matrix stories I found and make them readable to someone other than an angst-filled teenager.