Author Tip: Email Yourself

Dear Writers: At the end of every writing session, email yourself the latest copy of your Work/manuscript. Case in point:

2019 and 2020 threw my writing rhythm/book production way off. I put out one full in 2019, and one full and one novella in 2020. I’m shooting for two full books, min., in 2021. Having just completed the final pre-pub production craziness on the third in my Dear One series, My One True Love, (it’s out on the 24th!), I was wondering which of my partials to throw myself into next – which of my partials is the closest to completion, and thus, publication?

I started reviewing pending manuscripts, and remembered I had a steamy historical romance I’d started in 2010 and put aside at 90% complete due to shoulder/carpal RSI. Yet, when I went to pull that book out this week to review it with plans to finish/revise and send off for editing, I found only a 45,000 word version. I knew that was wrong. I knew I had one closer to 90,000 words – somewhere.

A search of my hard drive proved fruitless. BUT, when I put the book’s title into my gmail, well lo, there it was. Way back in 2013 I’d attempted a single day of Nano on the original MS, and emailed the results to myself – all 85000+ words of it. Far closer to completion than the 45,000 word copy I printed off.

Where did the original go? Why is there only a 45,000 version on my hard drive?

Well, I’m on my second – third? – laptop since 2013, so it’s entirely possible that during the transfer of files from one computer to the next, the original was lost, deleted, or eaten by a data gobbler. Or maybe it’s sitting somewhere deep in my external hard drive. It doesn’t matter.

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What matters is I have a habit of emailing my MS to myself, and so I have an 85000-word manuscript to sink my revision teeth; something I can get to market swifter than I could a MS half that size. So, yay! 2013 me. And yay! 2021 me for having the forethought to replace the printer’s toner last weekend.

Remember: Email yourself.

Take care, and happy writing!


There is no dependence that can be sure but a dependence upon one’s self.

~John Gay

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