Having dumped ninety percent of my packing onto Gwen I tackled the hardest ten percent: my business records and files.
Writers are pack rats, mostly, whereas professional military learn to travel light, again mostly. This dichotomy could have made me schizoid were it not for the most wonderful invention for writers since the eraser on the end of a pencil: electronic files.
I now had all the files necessary to my business: contracts, business letters, file copies of my copyrighted works, general correspondence, address files, notes for stories to be written, tax records, et cetera, and so forth, ad nauseam. Before the days of electronic filing these records would have been a tonne and a half of paper in half a tonne of steel, all occupying several cubic meters. Now they massed only a few grams and occupied space no larger than my middle finger –twenty million words of file storage. The wafers were totally encased in that “bone” and thereby safe from theft, loss, and damage. Who steals another man’s prosthesis? How can a cripple forget his artificial foot? He may take it off at night but it is the first thing he reaches for in getting out of bed.
“The Cat Who Walks Through Walls” by Robert A. Heinlein
Could you leave your apartment within a few minutes and take with you all you need to start anew? Strange question? Not really, just imagine that you wake up and the place is on fire. What do you grab? What can you grab?
In the story of one of my favorite authors, “The Cat Who Walks Through Walls” by Robert A. Heinlein, the protagonist has a few minutes to leave the apartment he was living in. Luckily he is a writer, which allows him to carry his material, contracts, and stories with him as electronic files (see quote above).
Could you do the same? Do you store your ideas digitally, on a device that you can easily carry with you? I’m currently thinking about creating a piece of jewelry that contains a Pico USB Flash Drive with all of my (personally) important files — to supplement the USB Stick I always carry with me anyway.
Sure, the risk of theft might be larger than the risk of loosing my apartment due to fire or water, I think it will be very comforting to have all of my important files with me at all times.