The Scream, by Edvard Munch

There are several things I can honestly say I can’t live without: hot coffee, television, dark chocolate and fuzzy pajamas.

Add a trustworthy, and dedicated, internet connection to that list. Without my laptop, I devolve rapidly into a state of technology-deprived madness– my own version of Edvard Munch’s legendary The Scream. But without a working internet connection, and ultimately the gaming and social media devices on which I rely so heavily, I’m practically numb.

I’ve written before on the challenges presented by working at home and frankly, I think writing/researching/blogging from a home office is over-idealized. Without the pressure of an office environment, many assume that there are no real pitfalls to working at home on a computer all day.

Well prepare yourself, because I’m going to set you straight.

A faulty internet connection is every blogger’s nightmare. Picture having several browsers open at once, all containing vital facts, pictures and links which you are trying to upload onto your website. The worst is when you’ve pulled up something for which no permanent link exists. This has happened to me countless times when searching scholarly articles using JSTOR: I’ve finally tracked down an elusive article published eons ago, only to have my connection reset by a haywire wireless router.

Filling out online forms is another major problem. Recently, I had entered in all of my information on a website, and was just about to hit ‘send,’ when I realized that my internet connection had disappeared into thin air. Thank goodness I had the foresight to copy my information to the clipboard before I finished working. That’s one of countless useful things working with technology will teach you: always plan ahead and work out a solution in advance, just in case the need arises. I’ve learned after almost a year of blogging with WordPress that the Autosave feature is my faithful friend, and I can’t begin to imagine how many times it has retrieved my words for me.

Data storage device, or life-preserver?

For bloggers, the go-to excuse for missed deadlines and incomplete work is no longer “My dog ate my homework.” It’s “My internet connection ceased to exist.”

So let’s all take a minute and back up our files, shall we? You never know when that USB key might become something more– the key to your sanity, and ultimately, your continued success.