You need to backup your stuff. Not because your computer might get stolen or your house might burn down. But because your hard drive WILL fail within a couple of years. Someone in your house WILL, somehow, put a virus on your machine. You WILL accidentally-but-permanently delete your work in progress.
I am the most tech savvy, obsessively careful person I know, yet all three of these things have happened to me. They'll get you too.
I'm also supremely lazy. So if my backup plan requires any maintenance from me, it just won't happen. Here's how I do it then.
STEP 1: DROPBOX
You guys know about Dropbox, right? You can store 2 GB for free online with very little work. That's not enough to keep all your pictures and music, but it's more than enough to protect your writing.
Make an account and download the app to your computer. That's it. After that, Dropbox will auto-upload anything you put into the special Dropbox folder, anytime it changes.
"But wait," you say, "Don't I have to manually copy my stuff into that folder as I work?"
Well, yeah. One solution is to work directly within the Dropbox folder, but you don't want to do that (especially since Dropbox can sync two ways -- if somebody hacked into Dropbox, or you had multiple computers linked up, you might lose everything accidentally again). The other solution is this:
STEP 2: CREATE SYNCHRONICITY
Create Synchronicity is this nice little program that will automatically copy files from anywhere to anywhere, on a schedule. It's free, lightweight, versatile, and smart enough to only copy files that actually changed.
Just install it on your machine and set up a profile to copy your important files wherever you want them -- an external hard drive, another computer on the network, or (in this case) your Dropbox folder. Schedule it to run once a day and bam, you never have to think about protecting your work again.
Is this helpful to you? What's your backup plan?