Saving works

Don't forget to save your work.
Save early and often.

Earlier today I wrote an involved piece about political correctness and lifestory writing that I intended to post. Especially on controversial topics, I like to let a post age for at least a couple of hours, so I clicked over to work on another document.

Half an hour later, I clicked in an Explorer window to open my book manuscript. That was a mistake. I forgot to specify that it open in Microsoft Word. I began the new year by switching to OpenOffice (OO), the full-featured, free, open-source office suite, and I set my computer to open all Microsoft Office documents in OO. Most Word documents open flawlessly in OO, but high end formatting is dicey.

My Microsoft Word book manuscript includes over twenty style definitions, dozens of tables, columns, a long list of graphics, cross-reference codes, Table of Contents codes, Index codes, headers, footers, and section breaks all over the place. OO gasped and died. Normally, even this would not be a problem. Normally, I would have saved that document with a title. Even if I didn't do that, OO creates back-up files every ten minutes that should save the day in the event of a program crash. This function worked a couple of times earlier when I closed the program abruptly.

Not this time! For reasons beyond my comprehension, the restored document was an empty page. I'll have to start from scratch to recreate it.

Perhaps this was just as well. After a couple of hours of thought, I realize the post was going off in an extraneous direction. I would have rewritten most of it anyway. Who knows? Perhaps this was a sign. Stranger things have happened. Many stories are much the better for starting over from scratch, and that post will be one of them. Watch for it in a couple of days.

I won't forget this saving lesson any time soon. My momentary lapse was costly. I'm back to my long-standing habit of giving a new document a title and saving it when I begin writing. Every few minutes as I write, I hit Crtl-S and make sure the latest words are safe on disk. Saving works!

Don't forget to save your work.
Save early and often.

Write on,

Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal

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