Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gone With the Wind

Daily writing adds up in more ways than one. Not only does your word count increase, but so does your skill. All writing matters, and this includes blogging. Because blogging is instantly public, it might be more important in some aspects than our journals or more serious writing, like a novel-in-process. If you do it regularly, it eventually blossoms into a large body of work.

So what happens when your blog disappears? It happened to our fellow editor, Marvin Wilson, just last week. Blogger killed not one, but two of his blogs, sites in which he’d invested an enormous amount of time and energy. Gone with the wind. Just like that. Poof. No exclamation given.

There are no guarantees that platforms like Blogger or WordPress will guard the safety of your creative work. You have to take precautions yourself. I protect my writing by drafting in an MSWord file, and then copying and pasting to the HTML window of a new post in Blogger. This way, I have all my writing accumulated and saved on my computer, safe from the occasional lost post, or worse, the demise of the entire body of blogging work.

You can save a file of all your blog posts by name and month, like I do, or find another method that suits you better. Whatever you do, don’t leave it to chance that all the information stored on your blog is safe forever. Even gathering all your links could take considerable reconstruction time should they be lost. Always have some sort of back-up for the information. If you have other methods for saving your blog content, please share them with us, and tell us what blogging platform you’re using in the comments.

And be nice to Marv; he’s had a rough week. Take a peek at his new blog and leave him a sweet condolence. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy! Well, okay, it could have happened to me, but let's not tempt the fates.

Dani Greer is a founding member of the Blood-Red Pencil and has spent most of the last week blogging and confusing herself in feeble attempts to podcast.

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  1. Thanks for that warning. I've been meaning to do that and shall get right to it!

    The Texas Woman

  2. Wow, I didn't realize blogs could disappear like that. Most of the time I compose in Word and transfer, but I will make a point to do it all the time, now. Thanks for the tip, Dani.

  3. Ever since I first heard you suggest it, I've typed my entries in Word first. Thanks for the reminder. I hope Marv's new blog proves more sturdy :)

  4. I type my entries in Word, too, but those usually get deleted after a while. I do maintain a Word document where I keep an ongoing copy of my blog posts. I keep a year's worth in each document.

  5. That's a warning! I didn't know that could happen. It's a bit like Big Brother, isn't it, pulling the plug every so often.
    Blessings, Star

  6. I export the blog entries every week as back up ever since I heard about Marvin's problem. Thanks for the reminder.

    Bargain with the Devil

  7. I haven't actually done it but... can't you automatically upload your blogs to your Facebook or Wordpress blog, mirroring your postings across several different platforms. I think it uses your RSS feed. Unless "the man" is really out to get you, one of them should survive.

  8. Yes, that's true about dual-posting. But somehow, I still like the security of having all that writing on my computer, and even backed up to a CD. It's especially crucial if you do lots of research for your blog posts, or they're lengthy and useable for other reasons. So much work! Ack. There's also a way to actually save your blog to you computer, but I haven't yet laid hands on the instructions. Will keep looking though.

    Thanks for the comments, all!


  9. Hey how did I miss this post? Thanks for the shout out and condolences, Dani. And yes, everyone - beware the Google Nazis!

    The Old Silly


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


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