To Print Or Not To Print, That Is The Question

To keep printed hard copies?

Most writers these days use computers to craft their words.  I’m particularly fond of doing the same thing, but what about a hard copy?  Does anyone ever print up their work while they are working on it so that they have a hard copy in hand, just in case the inevitable happens where one’s laptop or PC crashes?

Now, even I’m guilty of not backing up my written work.  I have that external drive that I could regularly back up, but I honestly hate doing it, because it’s never as easy as they say. Go figure. 

Now, I am one that likes to write things down in notebooks and such, but I usually don’t keep the whole manuscript, or what I have of it, just pre-ideas and such.  Occasionally I will type things up on my typewriter, but most of the time I don’t.

Not quite the organizing I meant.

I wonder too, if it is actually necessary to print out sections of what I’m working on.  If you think about it, that can be a lot of paper.  Manuscripts, even partial ones, take up a lot of room.  Then there is the trouble of keeping them organized.  Loose paper is again, not that easy to keep neat.  Folders only work so well.  And I am seriously digressing here.

Mostly, is it important to have hard copies?  Honestly I don’t know.  At some point, everyone is probably going to have computer issues and their work will be in danger.

Do you back up, print, or have some other way of keeping track of what you’ve written?

Writing On


4 thoughts on “To Print Or Not To Print, That Is The Question

  1. I was told by a number of Authors, and from reading other Author’s experiences to back up everything on a disc, and to use a flash drive as well, so I have more than one format in case of natural disaster or a disaster of the legal kind where I need to prove that my work is indeed my own. Printing hard copies goes right along with the first two methods, and advice taken from the same sources.

    It is simply another way to prove that your work belongs to you, and wise writers will also place a date on every copy they make. Did you know that J.K. Rowling was sued twice over the originality of her work? She had to prove it was her idea, and had the scribbles and all to do it. Likewise, for any Writer aspiring to Author.

    Self preservation aside, a hard copy looks different from a regular copy. I dunno why, but to me it reads differently than on the computer, where things look much tidier. But a hard copy is what an Editor or Agent will view, so it is important that you get a good look at what they will be seeing.

    Every couple of months I will print out a segment, if not the entire thing, and take it to work with me. I read it on my breaks or my lunch hour and correct errors, adjust scenes or pacing that are wonky, add and remove with a red pen.

  2. Pingback: >Formatting Your Manuscript: Section One, Traditional Format | C.K. Garner Blog Paper Scissor

  3. I back everything up to a flash drive and keep it with me so it is off site if something happens to my laptop or my house catches fire.

    Because I tend to be a perfectionist I never review what I write, while I’m writing. I will see where I left off in the story line then continue on without editing at all. When I have completed the story I then start at the beginning and go chapter by chapter, adding or deleting to improve the flow.

    When I’m completely done with this first edit I print out the entire manuscript and give it to my trusted editors (two women) to ensure I get a balanced view of the story. They have no trouble telling me if something seems wrong or if the story drags. They mark the manuscript in red so I can easily go page by page making the changes I want to make or correct punctuation.

    I set the book aside for a few weeks, then read it through again as if I’m a first time reader. If I like what I see I send it off.

    • I think your idea of keeping all the written things on a flash drive you take with you, is an excellent idea. I will have to do that. I doubt I could go without rereading my work and waiting to edit, but I applaud you for being able to not look back til you are done writing. I wish I could do that. I do like how you edit, give it to editors, then look back at it all.

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