Back up your work! Seriously. No matter how unimportant you think those few paragraphs are, or how unsure you are that you'll ever use them in a finished store, back it alllll up.
Back stuff up.
Is everyone listening? =)
I'm stressing this because last year my beloved Mac betrayed me and the hard-drive crashed. Apparently it crashed so thoroughly that it couldn't be resurrected, even by the people at Apple. Yikes.
I lost some brainstorming things I hadn't saved, bits and pieces of stories I'd started and never finished. And that made me sad.
I also lost one of my favorite manuscripts of all time. The. Entire. Thing. Thousands and thousands of words that I'd dreamed about, carefully written, and poured my heart into.
That was beyond sad. I'd thought I'd printed a hard copy at some point, but all the searches I did of my closets and attic came up empty. My lesson, a hard learned one, from all of this? Make back up copies.
People use different methods to do this, so just pick the one that works best for you. Some people use programs, but I don't have one of those, so I can't really explain how they work. I have a flash-drive I put important documents on. If I've recently finished a manuscript, I also email it to myself so that it's on the internet, somewhere relatively indestructible.
Wherever you choose to do it, seriously, save your work in several places.
Lucky for you, you don't have to wait a year, like I did (yes! A WHOLE YEAR!) to see that my back-up lesson story has a happy ending. I was cleaning out from under my bed yesterday (seriously, should I be shoving things under my bed as a full-fledged adult???) and out of curiosity, I pulled out a storage container that had been under there, just to see what was in it. I found some old books, some binders, annnnnnd.....
A hard copy of my missing manuscript.
Yay!!!! =) But still, back things up. You could save yourself a year's worth of agony. =) And also, clean out from under your bed. Not writing related at all, but it's good life advice--I feel much better now that I have. =)