I had a scary experience this week that is worth sharing.
If you write at all, be sure to back up frequently. I used to, back when I used a computer that had a habit of crashing frequently, but I got complacent when I got my new computer. So when the hard drive failed the other day with no warning, I hadn't backed up in three or four months.
I haven't worked on my novel since the last time I backed up, so I knew the first draft was safe, but there were some outlining and research notes and other various additions, such as images, that I would lose. I actually would have lost more of my other work, my freelance writing that I do for clients, but of course if I had been avidly working on my novel more of it would have been at risk.
I lucked out: Although the hard drive was shot, the data was still recoverable. I didn't end up actually losing anything, much to my relief. But hopefully I've learned from my mistake, and will start backing up regularly again.
Hopefully you can learn from my mistake, too. Especially if you haven't backed up in a while, back up now!